The family of the 11-year-old boy killed in a car crash which injured six other children are remembering a "real character" who always made them laugh.

Nikau Arama-Tamati's family and friends were gathered at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia on Monday sharing stories about the baby of the family.

Nikau died at Waikato Hospital hours after the fatal crash surrounded by his family.

His six cousins who were also in the Nissan Wish when it crashed into a tree on Durham Street in Ngaruawahia about 6.20pm on Friday night remain in Waikato Hospital.


A 9-year-old boy remains in Intensive Care Unit, while a 15-year-old and 12-year-old girl are stable on a ward. A 14-year-old boy, 12-year-old boy and 11-year-old boy were also stable on a ward, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Family spokesperson Tawhirimatea Moanaroa said Nikau's parents Melva and Sam, his siblings and the tight-knit community were devastated at the loss of such a loving and talented young boy.

Nikau attended Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Bernard Fergusson school in Ngaruawahia and was a high achiever who excelled at writing and reading. He had just returned home from a school trip to the Cook Islands.

Nikau's school friends visited the marae on Monday and were talking about how he loved jumping from the local bridge and had no fear. The children had been at the bridge earlier in the afternoon before the crash.

He was a talented musician who played the drums and the clarinet and loved rugby. He played for the local rugby club the Ngaruawahia Panthers, Moanaroa said.

"He was a normal teenager who loved life, loved music and loved his culture.

"He was like I suppose all of the younger generations who liked the hip hop era and free styling. "

Moanaroa said it was a "sensitive time" and the family did not want to discuss the circumstances around Nikau's death.

Police have confirmed no one in the vehicle was old enough to hold the correct driver's licence and the owner of the vehicle was known to the children.

They family was instead focused on giving him the send off he deserved.

"We are just devastated, such a young guy."

His funeral service will be held on Wednesday 23 November at 11am at the marae.

Police said their investigation into the fatal crash was ongoing and the cause of the crash is yet to be determined.

"However, initial enquiries suggest a lack of seatbelts, and speed may have been contributing factors," a police spokeswoman said.

"No charges have been laid as yet."