Police have confirmed the name of the boy who died from injuries sustained in a suspicious fire in Hastings on Monday.

He was 10-year-old Ariki River Baden Mau of Camberley, who attended Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Kahungunu ki Heretaunga.

Ariki was rushed to the Hawke's Bay Hospital in a critical condition on Monday afternoon after he was involved in a fire at a dereilict building on Heretaunga St West.

He sustained life-threatening injuries and died in the early hours of Tuesday.


A 9-year-old boy who was also taken to hospital in a serious condition was on Wednesday morning in a stable condition in the children's ward at Hutt Hospital, where he was receiving further treatment.

Ariki lay at a Camberley address today, and was described in a death notice as a "loving, precious son", "cherished brother" and "adored great moko".

The names of his birth and de facto parents, eight siblings and grandparents were listed.

"Much loved cousin, nephew and friend to many," it read.

The Hawke's Bay area investigations manager, Detective Senior Sergeant Martin James, said police were speaking to witnesses this afternoon, but would not be approaching the young boys involved until next week with regard to their wellbeing.

"Our thoughts are with all the families involved in this tragedy and we are providing support to them and the community at this time."

Yesterday tributes began flowing for Ariki, who was described as a boy with an infectious smile who had the ability to make anyone laugh.

His teacher of two years Peter Kireka, known as Matua Pete, said Ariki was a "budding" and "inquisitive" student who always had something to say.

"He was very passionate about what he believed was right and was the kind of person who had an opinion. He would make you laugh and he was a boy fully involved with the kura."

Mr Kireka said he had been sad to hear of Ariki's death, as he had thought the boy had a bright and promising future ahead of him.

However the school community could take comfort that Ariki would now be back with his best friend, who had died from as asthma attack in the last school holidays, Mr Kireka said.

"At least they can be back together now and we can remember their infectious smiles and the way they used to make us all laugh."

The death notice said a service would be held at Kahuranaki Marae, Te Hauke, on Saturday morning.