The grandmother of a young girl killed in a cycling accident last year says changes that have made a public path safer have come too late for her grand-daughter who died there.

Hamilton girl Ariana Kokaua, also known as Ari, was staying with her grandparents in Porirua for the summer holidays when she went with her aunt, sister and cousin to a dairy on January 6 last year.

In an inquest report released yesterday, coroner Ian Smith said the 10-year-old had borrowed a bike to go to the shop, and rode off ahead of the others.

She is believed to have fallen down about 12 to 15 steps on the Papakowhai Walkway before she was found.

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Emergency services were called but Ariana - despite wearing a helmet - died at the scene from what the report said was a fatal neck injury.

Yesterday, her paternal grandmother, Mata Kokaua, said her family were still coming to terms with Ariana's death.

And 14 months to the day after the tragedy, Ms Kokaua has still not visited the scene of the accident.

"I haven't had the stomach yet. She's only been gone a year now.

"My son and his wife have been down there but I just can't because it's still raw ... especially because of her age - she was so young."

Since the accident, Porirua District Council has made changes to the path to make it safer.

It has removed vegetation from behind a handrail, installed a handrail on the other side of the path to slow people down, made the stairs anti-slip with high-visibility stair-capping and put up signs for the walkway.

Ms Kokaua believes there was at least one other fatality on the pathway before her granddaughter's death. The council denied this when contacted by the Herald yesterday.

Ms Kokaua said the changes to the pathway had come too late.

"From where I am, these changes are just too late and they're no good for me and my family."

Ariana was one of four children and Ms Kokaua said her nickname was "Fairy". She went to Fairfield Primary School, where she was popular.

"She was just this lovely little girl and she would have been attending Fairfield Intermediate this year. I really miss her because she would come around in the weekends."

Porirua City Council's leisure assets and services manager, Karen Stillwell, said it was an accident the council hoped never to see repeated.

"It has taught us a hard lesson in taking a different perspective when we look at all our recreational assets and the way they are utilised."

Coroner Smith's report did not go into detail about what could have caused Ariana to fall from her bike but he credited the council for trying to make the walkway safer. He did not make any recommendations.

SAFER PATH
* Hamilton girl Ariana Kokaua died when she fell down 12 to 15 steps while riding her cousin's bike in Porirua last year.

* An inquest report released yesterday said she suffered a fatal neck injury.

* Since the accident, the Porirua District Council has made changes to the path.

* It has removed vegetation from behind a handrail, installed a handrail on the other side of the path to slow people down, made the stairs anti-slip with high-visibility stair-capping, and put up signs for the walkway.+