School students and the mother of a 14-month-old boy were present when the child was hit and killed by a car in a car park in Northland yesterday.
The child was hit in a car park owned by Kamo Intermediate School, and died at the scene about 4pm.
Board of Trustee chairman Don Robertson said the tragedy happened after school hours in the car park, used by staff during the day but by the public outside of school hours.
Mr Robertson said counselling was being offered to students, staff and their families who witnessed or were affected by the accident.
"It happened after hours but was witnessed by people from the school - staff and students and so on," he said.
He said the incident was a "tragedy" and the school community was in shock.
"We want to express our condolences to the family of the little one who was killed and be there to help in any way that we can.
"We are providing everybody that wants it with counselling, particularly those that were there and witnessed the tragedy."
Senior Sergeant Dan Cleaver said it was a "low-speed" incident.
"There has been a crash involving a toddler and unfortunately they are now deceased," he said.
Police were still investigating the circumstances around the crash and it was not clear if those involved were staff or a family connected to the school.
Mr Cleaver was unable to say how the toddler came to be hit by the car as a number of witnesses were still being interviewed.
It was possible the circumstances would not be known for a number of days, he said.
Kamo Intermediate School acting principal Rob Soar said the matter was with the police and the school had no further comment at this stage.
Residents reported seeing emergency services rushing to the scene just after 4pm.
One resident went to the scene and saw at least two children in the carpark being comforted by adults.
There would be a special assembly tomorrow and Victim Support had offered to provide ongoing services for that affected.