Bev Hiscox and her two grandsons Luka and JJ Sirett have been named as the trio who died on Sunday in a farm pond in Raetihi.
The families are "deeply saddened by this tragic course of events which resulted in the loss of their Mum and Nanny, and her two grandsons", family spokesman Elijah Pue said in a statement.
Pue has this afternoon delivered a tribute on behalf of the family.
"It's really sad and it's a real tragedy not just for the family but the wider community," he said.
The family - who were surrounded by loved ones - were mourning at home, he said.
Luka and JJ were very close. JJ had just started primary school this year and naturally their friends were mourning the loss. Luka was very intelligent and always gave his best at everything he did, he said.
"They were spending quality time with Nanny and Poppa on a Sunday," Pue said.
He said in a small community it was really important to spend time together and he believed that what they were doing, "having the best time together".
He said the family would release funeral details soon.
The family thanked emergency services for their efforts.
"I think the good thing about being in a small community is you have people turning up on your doorstop with baking and hugs," he said.
"It's going to be felt across the rural community, that's for sure."
In a statement earlier today, Pue said "Nanny Bev and Poppa Mike" had been spending "quality time" with their grandsons on the family farm when their side-by-side farm vehicle accidentally went into a farm dam.
Tragically Bev, Luke and JJ passed away, while Mike [Michael Hiscox] survived the accident with minor injury.
The families were naturally distraught but comforted by the support of their friends and the close-knit Waimarino community, Pue said.
"The Hiscox and Sirett families are well known in the area and have been here for many years. Bev was a stalwart in the community, a talented gardener and held many voluntary roles across the district.
"A mother of five girls and a Nanny to 10 grandchildren, Bev was the matriarch of her family and was also the loving and devoted wife to Mike. She had the biggest heart."
Luka and JJ were "the closest of brothers".
"Luka gave his absolute best at everything he did and was a Lego Master and an avid Minecraft player - he was also an awesome singer.
"JJ loved snuggles and being in the outdoors - and had a cheeky smile."
The pair had the biggest of hearts, just like their Nanny, Pue said.
The family had an "enduring love" for the three who died.
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The tragedy, which struck on a 74.5ha family farm in Raetihi at 11am on Sunday, has left the small central North Island community in shock.
Mike Hiscox survived the incident and was flown to hospital with moderate injuries.
He was treated for minor injuries in the emergency department and released on Sunday evening.
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron had told the Herald the couple's son-in-law is in the local volunteer fire brigade and raced to the farm upon hearing the news.
He grabbed a digger and tried to breach the walls of the pond to free those trapped inside.
"One of the son-in-laws managed to get a digger and cut into the dam to release the water out so people could get to them but it's [6m] deep, it's a deep dam. But unfortunately they were too late."
He described the vehicle as a side-by-side, which is like an off road four-wheel drive vehicle that isn't completely enclosed.
"I know it was a side by side vehicle and they basically couldn't get out. It's so tragic."