The family of a 15-year-old cyclist killed in an alleged hit-and-run says he was a "great, loyal friend" and his death will leave a "huge hole".

Nathan Kraatskow died on Friday night.

His family have said his death would leave a huge hole.

"This is an extremely difficult time for our family and there are no words to describe how much Nathan will be missed.

Nathan Kraatskow.
Nathan Kraatskow.

"Nathan was sporty and caring and a loving big brother to three younger siblings.

"He will leave a huge hole in our family and we know he will watch over us as our guardian angel.

"He was also a great, loyal friend to many."

Nathan was a Year 11 student at Vanguard Military School and had previously spent two years at Rangitoto College, his family said.

His mother Charlene Kraatskow told Stuff that since he was 5 years old Nathan had wanted to become an Air Force pilot.

She initially brushed it off, but when he was a 12-year-old student at Northcross Intermediate, he reminded her of his dream and told her he would start air cadets on his 13th birthday.

He later asked to move from Rangitoto College to Vanguard Military Academy, to better his chances.

"I thought he would change his mind, but he never did. He carried his dream right through."


Family friend Traci Sietu set up a Givealittle page to help the family with financial pressures.

"Nathan's short life was filled with so many special moments, experiences and shared with many," she said.

"He is a beautiful son who was given to the family to serve and spread his happy spirit to everyone who he touched in some way. His radiance and zest of life was always strong; however it was also just beginning."

Sietu told Stuff one of Nathan's sisters was wearing his jersey the night after the crash.

"The fact that they want to be close to him, that says a lot," Sietu said.

The young Aucklander had also been a keen player for East Coast Bays Warriors rugby team and the area's softball club.


A tribute posted on the team's Facebook page said Nathan had been a part of the softball family for many years, as well as a valued member of the Warriors team.

Nathan was a warrior "gone too soon", it said.

The tribute described him as a "popular and respected" player, well known for his ability and sportsmanship.

"In addition to playing he also assisted with training for his younger sister's teams, the under-11 All Stars and the under-10 Panthers - Nathan was always ready to help out the club.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with the family as they come to terms with this tragic loss."

Emergency services were called to Oteha Valley Rd near the park and ride in Albany shortly before 11pm on Friday, police said.


A 19-year-old woman handed herself into police at the weekend. She has been charged with dangerous driving causing death and failing to stop, and is due to appear in court this week.