Manurewa community members are being asked to band together and support the family who lost a child in a tragic scrum machine accident.

Four-year-old girl Karlissa Cowell died on Thursday evening following an incident involving a scrum machine at Manurewa Rugby Club.

Karlissa had four siblings. One of her older sisters turns eight this week and the south Auckland community is asking for help.

"A birthday party needs to take place to bring some joy and normality to their lives," a message reads online.


"A tangi will take place this week, Christmas is coming on Tuesday next week. We are appealing for help to support this whanau in need.

"A birthday, a tangi and Christmas does not come cheap, but we need to do everything possible to ease the pressure at this sad time."

Auckland councillor Daniel Newman and kuia from the Whaitiaki Charitable Trust have been assisting the Cowell family since the incident.

The community is appealing for donations to be made towards the family through the Whaitiaki Charitable Trust.

Donors are asked to reference 'KARLISSA' under the account number 02-0400-0150411-083 to help purchase presents for the family.

A friend of Karlissa's parents has also set up a Givealittle page, to ease the financial burden faced by the family.

Nearly $12,000 has been raised online in the three days since the page was created.

"Our good friends Jen & Dan Cowell lost their precious little 4 year old girl Karlissa on Thursday 13 December 2018 in a tragic accident at the Manurewa Rugby Fields," the page read.

"This is a very heartbreaking situation and the family are obviously completely devastated.

"They are a beautiful, wonderful and loving family, always willing to give and help anyone in need."

Victim Support was assisting the family, who were present at the time of Karlissa's death.

Police extended their "heartfelt condolences" to the family.