Danny and Lope Mafi were excited about moving out of their cramped South Auckland unit to a bigger house that would give their children more space to play.
But now, they are now planning a funeral for their 18-month-old daughter, who was run over in their driveway as her father reversed a ute to move furniture.
Vaimoana Mafi was struck outside the family's Massey Rd flat on Saturday as they prepared to move to the new home in Tennessee Ave, Mangere.
A relative said the ute was being driven by Danny Mafi, her father, who did not see his little girl playing on the driveway.
"We are all in shock and still don't understand how this can happen," said Malia Falekaono, whose sister Lope is Vaimoana's mother.
"The children were just running around the driveway and Danny didn't see the baby when he was reversing the car."
A family friend, who did not want to be named, said Vaimoana's parents wanted to move because they felt the current unit was too cramped.
"At this flat, there was nowhere for the kids to run around except the concrete front yard and driveway," he said.
"They wanted to move so the kids can have space, more space to run around."
Last night, members of the Tongan community joined family and friends at the Tennessee Ave house for a service for Vaimoana.
After the accident, she was taken to Middlemore Hospital with serious injuries and later transported to the Starship.
The toddler had been in a stable condition but police said she died from her injuries on Sunday night.
Mr Mafi said his daughter would be farewelled at a funeral tomorrow but he did not wish to comment further.
Police at the scene in Mangere. Photo / Daniel Hines
Neighbour Hana Salesa, 17, said she could not believe Vaimoana was no longer around.
"She's a lovely, sweet and quiet girl, and what's happened is so tragic and so sad. She's always quietly playing outside with her older cousin and her brother."
Miss Salesa, who ran out of her house when she heard shouting on Saturday afternoon, said she saw her neighbour holding up the injured toddler and yelling for his wife.
She said he had not heard his nephew shouting for him to "watch out".
Miss Salesa saw the distraught mother screaming and the father holding Vaimoana until the ambulance arrived.
Tongan community leader Melino Maka yesterday went to the family home offering condolences and support.
"Just looking at the conditions of where they live, it's quite unfortunate how the accident happened," Mr Maka said. "It really gives you a message that when there are kids or toddlers around, you can't take for granted and you've got to be extra careful and vigilant."
Inspector Richard Wilkie, Counties Manukau road policing manager, said the crash was one of two that resulted in fatalities over the weekend and was a tragic way to start summer - after a motorcyclist died in a crash on Sunday south of Auckland.
"Our thoughts are with these two families that have lost loved ones," said Mr Wilkie. "It's a timely reminder to all drivers to do everything they can to keep themselves and their loved ones safe on the roads."