It was a friendly rivalry to the very end for elderly sisters Doreen Jeffrey and Desma Hudson who have died on the same day.
The siblings, Mrs Jeffrey aged 94 and Mrs Hudson aged 92, died of natural causes on May 20, each surrounded by family in Rotorua and Auckland.
Mrs Jeffrey's daughter, Rotorua woman Anne Samson, said the pair were "pretty competitive, they had a sibling rivalry, with nice, fun banter, they were loving sisters".
"We joked they're either going to be skipping across the pearly gates holding hands smiling or kicking each other's shins. I think it's so special that within 12 hours [of each other] they passed. To live to their 90s, they're good stock, they had a good innings."
Mrs Samson said she found the situation "really intriguing and quite special".
"You hear of husbands and wives passing away on the same day, but not two sisters."
The last time the sisters saw each other was Christmas Eve in Auckland, and they last spoke on Mrs Hudson's 92nd birthday in April, because of declining health.
"Aunty Desma had been really frail for quite a few years and mum just slowly, her body started to slow down. We actually thought mum would live to 100 the way she was going, she still had all her faculties," Mrs Samson said.
Growing up, the two families would spend holidays and special occasions together, and were close, Mrs Hudson's daughter Frances Hudson-Carter said.
Mrs Hudson played piano for the Auckland Ballet Academy for 40 years, and was involved with the Friendly Road Choir, her church choir and the choir at Selwyn Village.
"She was involved with community projects and with the church, and also pantomimes, shows and singing."
She had five children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren, and helped foster more than 10 children with her husband Frank.
Mrs Samson said her mother's funeral on Monday in Rotorua was a "real celebration"; her daffodil-coloured coffin, decorated with butterflies, which she loved, and golden autumnal leaves - the kind she would take her grandchildren to walk through in Kuirau Park.
At 72, Mrs Jeffrey went paragliding, and as reported by the Rotorua Daily Post, she leapt out of an aeroplane at 84.
Mrs Jeffrey had five children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
"She had a marvellous life, a love of music and singing and spontaneity. I think they both had fulfilling lives which is neat to say, " Mrs Samson said.
One of Mrs Jeffrey's daughters, Maggie Murray, was her primary caregiver for 15 years in Christchurch.
"She nursed mum back to health many-a-time and devoted her life to her well-being," Mrs Samson said.
Mrs Jeffery had lived in Rotorua for the past two years at the Redwoods Home and Hospital, and made an impact there, Mrs Samson said, with staff coming to say their final farewells.
Mrs Samson said her mother loved Rotorua, especially the wide streets and the trees, and enjoyed going to feed birds at Sulphur Point.
The funeral for Mrs Hudson will take place in Auckland on Thursday.