Over $12,000 has been donated in less than 24 hours to support the nine grieving siblings whose parents drowned at Muriwai Beach.

Former refugees Kay Dah Ukay, 48, and his wife Mu Thu Pa, 50, slipped into rough waters while fishing off rocks at West Auckland's Muriwai Beach on Monday.

They had been with their youngest three children, aged 7, 9 and 13, who raised the alarm after their mother - who tried to save her husband by putting out a fishing rod towards him - also fell in.

Their nine children were among about 40 people, many from Auckland's Burmese community, who gathered at Muriwai Beach at dawn yesterday for a blessing ceremony.

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The employer of two sons of the drowning victims had set up a Givealittle page to support the family, which as of this morning had raised nearly $12,500.

The children of Kay Dah Ukay, 48, and Mu Thu Pa, 50, who were swept off rocks at Muriwai Beach on Monday. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The children of Kay Dah Ukay, 48, and Mu Thu Pa, 50, who were swept off rocks at Muriwai Beach on Monday. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Kevan Hunt said the brothers Dan and Posay Ukay worked at the Insulation Warehouse.

"We would like to put this page forward for people to be able to contribute towards funeral and family expenses," Hunt said.

"The thoughts and condolences of our team goes out to Daniel, Posay and their family at this very difficult time."

Funds raised would go towards funeral expenses and associated costs including travel, food and accommodation. Any surplus money would go to the family to help cover living costs.

One of the eldest children, daughter Dah Htoo Ukay, told the Herald they were overwhelmed by the support from the wider community.

"People have heard about the news and just come over to our house. We had people come [on Monday night] and they slept over.

"It makes it a little bit more comfortable with people helping us out."

Family, children and friends gather at Muriwai beach. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Family, children and friends gather at Muriwai beach. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The 25-year-old said her younger siblings had been coping well except for Jay, 9, who was one of the three youngsters who had been at the beach that fateful day.

"He's still ... yes, it's still hard for him,'' she said.

Dah Htoo said the eldest siblings, aged 29, 27, 25 and 22, were adamant they were going to keep the family together at their Housing New Zealand home in Henderson, West Auckland.

She said a HNZ representative visited them and let them know they did not need to worry about anything - they would be allowed to stay on at the home.

Dah Htoo acknowledged that was another burden that had been lifted off their shoulders.

The pair were remembered at the spot they were swept from. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The pair were remembered at the spot they were swept from. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A spokeswoman for the family, Cicilia Dwe, said they had spent part of the day organising a joint funeral for the couple, to be held on Friday.

Although it was traditional in the Buddhist religion to have loved ones cremated, the children had asked that their parents be buried at a cemetery for one special reason.

"Most people are cremated, but the children want to bury their parents so that they can visit - as a family.''

Dwe acknowledged the love and generosity of the New Zealand public who had made donations to help the children with funeral costs, among other things, via a Givealittle page set up by work colleagues of two of the siblings.

"The donations that we have received so far have made it possible for the children to afford a plot for their parents,'' Dwe said.

"Without the support from this country, the children would be lost. Thank you so much on behalf of the whanau.''

Meanwhile, members of the Surf Life Saving Northern Region Crew continued to preach the message to those heading out to West Coast beaches such as Muriwai to always be prepared and be safe.

Volunteers from the Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service - among the first of emergency staff to arrive at the scene on Monday afternoon - were being praised and also supported for their role in the rescue effort.