Police have named the 18-year-old who died in Moerewa after the parked car she was sitting in was hit by another vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road on Sunday.

She was Nga Roimata Beattie-Rihari of Moerewa.

A 43-year-old man has been charged with driving with excess breath alcohol. Police said they cannot rule out further charges being laid.

A Facebook post from whānau of the dead woman said they would wait until the country moves from alert level 4 to level 3 to give her the send-off she deserves. At level 3, funerals can be held and up to 10 people can attend.


Kia ora whanau This is an update for Nga Roimata Beattie Rihari. From tomorrow until next week Tuesday, she will be put...

Posted by Mere Heeni Beattie Rihari on Sunday, 19 April 2020

One friend, Shakeera Te Rangi, said "Roi had a heart of gold and always had open arms to anyone.

"She hated seeing others be sad, she just had this way of making people smile. She didn't deserve this," said her friend of several years.

"Police extend our sympathies to her whānau at this difficult time," said a police spokeswoman, saying a site blessing was held on Sunday night following the tragic incident.

The crash occurred about 7.45pm on Sunday on Mason Ave, in Moerewa, near the intersection with Wynyard St.

Sergeant Ryan Gray, of Northland police, said the deceased woman was seated in a stationary vehicle when it was struck by another vehicle which had crossed on to the wrong side of the road.

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Her vehicle was shunted backwards into a concrete power pole while the other vehicle mounted the kerb and came to rest against a house.

The driver of the other vehicle is believed to have suffered only minor injuries.


An investigation by the police Serious Crash Unit was continuing.

The investigation would include whether speed was an contributing factor.

"It was an unnecessary tragedy at an already difficult time. The driver should not have been out and about during the Covid-19 lockdown," Gray said.

Police did not believe the man was engaged in essential travel.

A St John ambulance crew attended the scene along with volunteers of the Kawakawa Fire Brigade, who provided scene protection and lighting for the police investigation.

Police say Sunday night's fatal crash in Moerewa was an unnecessary tragedy at an already difficult time.

Meanwhile, police are awaiting the outcome of blood-alcohol and drug tests before deciding what charges to lay against a man involved in a serious crash near Paihia on Friday.


It occurred on Paihia Rd, near Te Haumi Drive, just before noon when a Ford Festiva hatchback and a Toyota Rav4 collided head-on.

Police say initial indications are that the red Festiva crossed the centreline before this head-on crash near Paihia on Friday. Photo / Supplied
Police say initial indications are that the red Festiva crossed the centreline before this head-on crash near Paihia on Friday. Photo / Supplied

The 41-year-old male driver of the Festiva had to be cut free by the Paihia Fire Brigade and was airlifted to Whangārei Hospital in a serious condition. The other driver, a 56-year-old-woman, suffered moderate injuries.

Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson of Mid North police said initial indications were that the Festiva had crossed the centreline into the path of the Rav4.

Police were awaiting the results of blood tests carried out at Whangārei Hospital before deciding on charges against the 41-year-old. They were also investigating whether it was essential travel under the Covid-19 lockdown.

Sunday's death in Moerewa will bring Northland's road toll for 2020 so far to 13, according to Ministry of Transport figures.

Northland's last confirmed road fatality was a single-vehicle crash on Paparoa Rd in Mangapai, south of Whangārei, on March 26, a day after the lockdown began.


The deceased, Mahia Jones, 34, was the vehicle's sole occupant.

A 66-year-old man died on April 6 when the vehicle he was driving left the road and crashed into a tree on Brooks Rd, Waipu, but the cause may have been a medical event.

His death has been referred to a coroner. Police said the man was carrying out essential travel at the time.