A "bubbly" and "vibrant" woman was killed in a two-car crash in Kinleith, near Tokoroa, on Sunday night.

Kirsten Maree Wallis, 27, died at the scene on State Highway 1. Two others were taken to Waikato Hospital.

The 27-year-old's death has rippled through the Bay's engineering community, where she made her mark as a skilled civil engineer.

Wallis, originally from Australia, worked at Cardno NZ Ltd in Hastings before joining Opus International Consultants in Napier about a year and a half ago.


Opus business manager Dean Taylor said that in her relatively short time, she had made a huge impression within the organisation, engineering profession and the clients the company work for.

"She has exhibited tremendous energy and endeavour seeking to use her considerable skill in the various aspects of civil engineering to achieve her lot.

"Her vibrant and outgoing personality will be greatly missed in our office and we extend our sincerest sympathies to her family members," Taylor said.

Napier City councillor Annette Brosnan also worked closely with Wallis for the past three years and was saddened by the news.

Brosnan said she had become a good friend and described her as an "intelligent, fun and kind" person, whom she had the privilege of working with over the years.

"I remember just before going on maternity leave Kirsten came up and gave me a big hug and wished me good luck. She was such a nice and kind person."

Brosnan said her thoughts go out to Wallis' family as they dealt with such a huge loss.

Wallis would also be missed by many in Australia, where softball coach and friend Diane Dennis still in shock at the news.


"I met this loving girl at a local softball game and since we already had a Kirsten on the team I named her Fred. We played the season with Kirsten and her mum, Belinda."

Wallis became good friends with Dennis' daughter through school so was a regular visitor to her home.

"She will always be my little Fred and my heart and soul goes out to her parents and brothers but most of all her husband."

Friend Kayla Tratt, who met Wallis through church, said she was taken far too early.

"She was known to us all for her amazing smile and bubbly personality and we used to hang at all the church camps and rallies."

Tratt remembered fondly a camp in Tasmania where she and Wallis were the "only two crazy females" who put up their hands to go on a snorkelling trip.

"It was freezing but it was such an amazing day as the landscaping out at Maria Island was beautiful."