Friends and relatives are rallying to support the distraught parents of a toddler who died after suffering serious injuries in a fall while playing.

Malia Kaufana, who celebrated her first birthday earlier this year, died two days after the accident on Sunday, June 21.

"Malia had a tragic accident - fall - while playing on Sunday night," her aunt, Jade Langi, wrote on a Givealittle fundraising page set up to help pay for the little girl's funeral.

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"The Kaufana family are waiting for Malia to return to their care so they can welcome her home from Starship (Children's Hospital) and proceed with services, before laying her to rest up North," Langi wrote.

The family said Malia died peacefully on Tuesday, June 23 - two days after the tragic fall.

A St John spokeswoman confirmed emergency services were called to Paeroa shortly after 7pm on June 21 to a report of a fall.

Two ambulances and a helicopter were sent to the scene.

"One patient was flown to Starship [Children's] Hospital, Auckland, in a critical condition," she said.

Paramedics were called to Paeroa on Sunday, June 21, after a report of a fall. Image / Google Maps
Paramedics were called to Paeroa on Sunday, June 21, after a report of a fall. Image / Google Maps

Before Malia succumbed to her injuries, the family's church community - a Hamilton branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - called on the congregation to remember the Kaufanas in their prayers.

'May our prayers be with little Malia'

"She had a serious fall on Sunday evening, was rushed to Starship hospital and operated on. Now she is on life support," a post on its Facebook page read.

"May our prayers and thoughts be with the Kaufana and Napia whānau and little [Malia] at this time."


Langi said a date for her niece's funeral service had not yet been confirmed.

But because many people had reached out to the family - wanting to help in some way - a fundraising page was set up to allow them to do so.

"We are so grateful for your offers to help and all your kind messages, thoughts, prayers and fasting," Langi said.

All funds will go towards paying Malia's funeral and helping her parents and siblings during this time.

Malia is survived by her father Soni and mother Velma, also known as VC, and siblings Soni Leka, Viliami and 'Akimoana.