A coroner investigating the deaths of a woman and her two children has indicated that the crash they died in appears to be self-inflicted.
Ashton-Lee Rangihuna, 14. Ana-Roimata Rangihuna, 10 and their mother Tiny Tibble, 43, died in a crash on the East Cape on November 16.
Rotorua coroner Heidi Wrigley has since indicated that the deaths appear to be self-inflicted.
A coronial services spokesperson said today: "Coroner Wrigley is investigating the cause and circumstances of the deaths of Lance Rangihuna, Tiny Tibble, Ashton-Lee Rangihuna and Ana-Roimata Rangihuna. Section 71 of the Coroners Act 2006 applies."
Section 71 refers to restrictions being imposed on "making public details of self-inflicted deaths".
The trio's deaths came a month after their father, Lance Rangihuna, also died in a crash.
Rangihuna's brother, Wimaki Rangihuna earlier told the Herald he was devastated his whanau had been "wiped out".
Wimaki, who lives in Auckland, said he now wanted to remember his nephew for all of their deer hunting, and diving for paua and crayfish they used to do together.
"Ashton was into his hunting, diving, fishing. He was a tall, strapping young lad about six foot three [1.9m]. He's a big boy.
"The night before his father's funeral he went hunting, the next morning we got up there was a venison hanging. The young fella and [his sister] Ana were both gentle souls. Lance died about five weeks ago. Now I have to collect Tiny and the kids and bring them back home," Wimaki said.
He described his brother as a "laid-back fella".
"He made random phone calls and random visits. He would ring me up and order something for dinner. I'd say 'where are you?' He'd reply, 'I'll be there in two hours'."
He said his brother and Tiny were a "great couple" and had recently purchased a lawn-mowing business.
"They were fantastic parents and raised awesome kids."