The European family of a 5-year-old girl raped in a Turangi campground plan to return to New Zealand - and have left a generous gesture to the community that rallied around them after the December attack.
The assault on the young girl as she was sleeping in a caravan at Club Habitat on December 21 provoked an outpouring of national shame and left her family inundated with gifts, offers of support and more than $62,000 in donations.
A 16-year-old Turangi youth has admitted raping the girl and will be sentenced in Rotorua District Court later this month.
This afternoon, the girl's family announced they had donated $20,000 to go toward buying equipment for a new childrens' playground in Turangi, paediatric surgical instruments and items for the Waikids Ward 26 at Waikato Hospital and support for ECPAT Child Alert NZ Ltd and Victim Support Hamilton.
"We were amazed at New Zealanders' generosity. We in no way blame the Turangi community for what happened and so we wanted to give something tangible back," the girls' parents said in a statement released on their behalf by Waikato District Health Board.
"We understand they are fundraising for a new children's playground and so we want $5000 spent on a piece of equipment that young people in Turangi can enjoy."
The parents say it is now difficult to assess the incident's future impact on their daughter's life.
The balance of the money left from Operation Turangi - of which $13,000 came from the Turangi community itself - will be devoted to her well-being and future development.
"One day we want to return to New Zealand with our family - we want our son and daughter to see what a beautiful country this is and realise how much love, care and attention your country gave us.
"We must make mention of the people at Waikato Hospital. What they've got is very special and it is something we have not seen in Europe. Everyone including management, doctors, nurses, mental health staff, social workers, receptionists, telephone operators, attendants, those in the mailroom and so many more all showed compassion and worked together as a team to help us.
"Donating money to purchase paediatric equipment is a small way we can thank them."
They also wished to thank Victim Support, Air New Zealand, Juicy Rentals, AVIS, the Taupo Tourist Board, NZ Holiday Park Association, Ventura Inn in Hamilton, their hosts in Dunedin, Queenstown, Hamilton and Takapuna, the Turangi community, the children who gave up their Christmas gifts and money for their daughter, those who sent presents and messages of support, and all who donated to the Operation Turangi fund.