This is the face of the latest New Zealand child to die as a result of alleged abuse.

Five-year-old Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro was found dead in her bed in Napier early on Tuesday.

A 24-year-old man has been charged with assault in relation to her death, and is likely to face more serious charges in the New Year.

He appeared in the Napier District Court this week, and was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody until next month.

Sahara lived at the house with her mother, 7-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother.

Police have refused to reveal the 24-year-old's relationship to the family, or say whether he was living at the house.

Sahara had just finished her first year at Onekawa School.

Principal Wayne Keats said everyone at the school was shocked at the news of her death.

"She was a very likeable child, much loved by staff and her friends," he said. "Staff talked about her cheeky smile, her inquisitiveness and determination to succeed," he said.

Sahara's relatives used Facebook yesterday to pay tribute to a little girl with a big smile.

"You really touched mine and so many hearts Hara," wrote an aunt. "Your amazing little smile I'll never forget ... love you forever my beautiful niece."

They also expressed anger at the man charged.

Teddy bears and flowers were left in tribute outside the Riverbend Rd house where family members found Sahara at 1.50am on Tuesday.

Soft toys, flowers, cards and balloons were piled beside the driveway, and a toy angel hung over the letterbox.

A neighbour, who didn't want to be named, said Sahara went to school with her children and was a friendly little girl.

She said her children were upset when they learned what had happened to their friend.

"The kids wanted to leave home for a while, they just couldn't believe someone could do that to a little girl."

Child, Youth and Family head of operations Marama Wiki said Sahara's family were known to the agency.