The theft of items paying tribute to a young boy who died in February has left his family "beyond upset".
Ferro-James Tiopira Sio, 5, died in hospital on February 8 in what is a suspected homicide related to an incident on Union St, Rotorua.
After his death a memorial was placed outside his house including lights, flowers, a
T-shirt, woven flax, messages, teddy bears, toys and even a rugby ball.
Then someone took items from Ferro's memorial two weeks ago, leaving family members "beyond upset".
His aunt Tracy Lambert is making a plea to the public to have all of the items returned.
"When we thought we knew our grief, it was quickly amplified," she told the Rotorua Daily Post.
The memorial outside Ferro's house included lights, flowers, a T-shirt, woven flax, messages, teddy bears, toys and even a rugby ball.
Some items were Ferro's belongings - others were from strangers expressing their condolences.
She visited the memorial intact on March 13 but the next day Lambert arrived about 1.30pm to see "a pop of colour missing".
"Sure enough, the rainbow-coloured windmill was gone, I continued to look, his rugby ball was gone, and a metal wall piece with a whakataukī cut into it.
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"It had a message on the back ... It is written in vivid ... And the lights my sister put out the day before were taken also."
On March 16, another of Ferro's aunts arrived at the tree to find some, but not all, of the memorial items dumped in a trolley back at the site.
A rainbow windmill and a metal wall hanging with a whakataukī were still missing.
Lambert started the memorial by placing one of Ferro's T-shirts on the tree - a blue and black one with the number 23 on it - in the first days after his death.
"A lot of us wrote messages on it for Ferro . . . Some of the things left on the tree weren't just things, they were memories, they are tokens of love," she said.
"We don't know who did it [took the memorial items] and why but we are gutted."
She said the memorial was "a place where his [Ferro's] Rotorua whānau can go".
"Ferro is buried outside of Rotorua. It's a place we go when we are having a rough day with his loss or any other thing.
"It's a place we can feel closer ... We just miss him. And I guess we grasp on to all we can."
Lambert wants the public to know that if they've placed anything, "it will be cared for and treated with respect and aroha".
"I would like to put it all back, maybe in a more organised way. Or in a way that is okay with the person who removed it all."
Lambert said her nephew was "an awesome boy ... so enthusiastic and loving".
"He would whistle tunes while he worked on projects and went about his day. Ferro was curious and intrigued by how things worked like lights and fireworks. He loved having time at my house."
Lambert moved to Rotorua on Ferro's fifth birthday - she wanted to spend more time with her nieces and nephews.
"I hold a lot of whānau and cultural knowledge that I like to share with all our kids. My children are absolutely at a loss to be without their cousin. All of Ferro's cousins miss him hugely."
Ferro's father William Sio, 24, pleaded not guilty to murder and neglect of a child when he appeared in the High Court at Rotorua.
A 28-year-old woman, Leza Rawiri, also pleaded not guilty to neglect of a child.
She is not Ferro's mother.