The widow of a taxi driver killed in a horror crash has told of her joy after learning she can stay in New Zealand and fulfil her husband's dream that their son can become "a little Kiwi".
Nishat Abides life was shattered when husband Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed, 29, died while on the job early on December 23 after his taxi crashed with another vehicle on Symonds St in central Auckland.
Abedi, 31, honoured her husband's wishes by taking his body back to his family burial place in India. But she feared that she might not be able to return. Her work visa was due to expire in February.
But on January 30 she was granted a two-year, employer-supported work visa, she said.
"I was very much relieved because this was my husband's [greatest] wish - that we should be here staying in New Zealand [for] my son's future," said an emotional Abedi, who returned on March 26.
Her husband wanted their 9-month-old son, Syed Abdul Raheem, to have a New Zealand upbringing and education.
Abedi, who had worked in an Auckland daycare, said when her husband saw other boys there, "the way they used to talk, the way they used to carry themselves", he used to say, "one day my son will also be like this - he'll be a little Kiwi".
She is heartbroken at the loss of her husband and there is "not a single second" when she did not miss him. But she was "trying to be strong" for her son. "I have to fulfill my husband's dream."
Syed was a doting dad, changing Abdul's nappies, bathing him, making sure he was asleep before he left for work. "He was his world."
As he was leaving their home around midnight, for what would be the last time, he placed his hand on their sleeping son's head because he feared the youngster might be getting sick. He told his wife, "just take care of him".
Abedi gave him a packed meal for his early-morning shift before farewelling him.
At around 7.30am she received a phone call she assumed was from her husband. "I said, yes Fahad." But it was from a friend who was unsuccessfully trying to contact him.
The fatal crash had occurred about 4.45am.
Abedi learnt the terrible news from police when they visited her Avondale home.
"I was completely, completely numb. I was in shock."
An outpouring of support from the New Zealand public included Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"I was surrounded by my own family when I read the news of this devastating accident," Ardern told the Herald at the time. "I cannot comprehend the kind of loss Nishat Abedi is feeling. My thoughts are with her at this difficult time."
A Givealittle page, which raised $84,424.71, was set up to support Abedi and her baby son. They returned to India to bury Syed in the city of Hyderabad, where the couple had grown up.
Abedi wanted to thank the New Zealand people for their "immense support". The Givealittle funds were "like a gift from God".
She was able to take Syed's body back to India to be buried beside family members, something that was "very important to my husband". His funeral was on December 30.
Syed's family was devastated by his death, Abedi said.
They supported her return to New Zealand, because they realised it was important her husband's Kiwi dream for his son be realised, she said.
With her work visa due to expire on February 16, she had not known whether that would be possible.
However she received her two-year work visa and she intends to apply for New Zealand residency, she said.
Abedi will work as a manager at ZamZam Restaurant in Mt Roskill.
"I'll be grateful for my entire life to the restaurant."
ZamZam Restaurant owner Mustafa Mohammed was delighted to be able to support Abedi's work visa.
She was "a very good person" and had relevant management and accounting qualifications to be a great asset to his business, Mohammed said.
Abedi, who had "very good communication skills", was also familiar with the cuisine which ZamZam offered.
The Hyderabad community in New Zealand had rallied to support Abedi and her son after Syed's death, Mohammed said.
He was thrilled to be able to help them towards rebuilding their lives here.
Abedi and Syed were married three-and-a-half years ago.
The couple moved to New Zealand in 2015. Abedi, who had a Bachelor of Commerce, wanted to continue her studies. She completed a postgraduate degree in international business at Auckland's UUNZ Institute of Business.
Syed, a hard worker who met many people through his job as a taxi driver, loved his new homeland and the New Zealand people.
"He used to say they're very warm, they're very kind-hearted … very genuine and very fair."
Syed was a devoted and loving husband, she said.
A keen cricketer in India, he was sporty and active socially. "His friends miss him so terribly."
Little Abdul was a mirror image of his father - especially when he smiled - and missed his dad, she said.
There had been just the three of them in their home, and Syed spent hours playing with his son, including their last night together.
The baby boy had stared around the house in the days after his father's death, crying.
Abedi prays for her husband. "I know his soul is in peace … he was a gentle [man].
"For me, he was an angel."
Farshad Bahadori Esfehani, of Mt Roskill, was charged with driving with excess breath alcohol causing death, driving with excess breath alcohol causing injury, and failure to stop and ascertain injury. He has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges and elected trial by jury.
He is due to appear at Auckland District Court on May 10.