Rhonda Grace always put her hand up to help people in the community.

And in her final hours, it was her community spirit that had led her to a home in Kumeu where she was helping family of old friends, a couple, who had died.

On Thursday, the 74-year-old was cleaning out the house on State Highway 16 and the family's flower business, also on the property, so it could be put on the market.

Barbara and Ron Davie-Martin had owned B & R Orchids for more than 30 years.


Ron died in June, aged 80, and his wife died a month later, aged 78.

While Grace, who lived in the nearby Helensville, was helping out at the home, a customer came calling to buy orchids but Grace told her they weren't for sale.

It is not known exactly what happened next but shortly afterwards Grace was hit by the customer's car and died at the scene.

Grace's daughter Robyn Grace said the driver was taken to hospital in shock.

"It is under investigation by the police and we haven't been given any details."

Emergency services were called to the property at 2.50pm to reports of a car having struck a pedestrian.

Police said the Serious Crash Unit is still investigating.

Grace had been married to Thomas for 52 years, and was the mother of three daughters, and grandmother to eight grandchildren.


Robyn Grace said her mother was very active in the community and very generous with her time and energy.

"She was an incredibly strong person and always doing things for other people."

Police at the scene of the accident in Kumeu where 74-year-old Rhonda Grace from Helensville died. Photo / Nick Reed
Police at the scene of the accident in Kumeu where 74-year-old Rhonda Grace from Helensville died. Photo / Nick Reed

She had made a long-standing contribution to both GirlGuiding New Zealand and the Helensville & District Historical Society, and her love of gardening saw her join a gardening club.

"She was also very passionate about her grandchildren. They were a big deal," Robyn said.

"For a long time I was a single mother with four boys and my mum stepped in to help me raise them.

"We spoke every day and my boys loved her to bits, so I can't imagine what we are going to do without her."

She says her mother was "a very hard-working farmer's wife", who lived all her life in the Helensville area.

The sudden death has been devastating for the family.

"It is tough for me because she was my best friend," Robyn said.

"I will miss everything about her.

"My mother was a tall, strong woman with red hair who I can't imagine anything being able to stop her.

"It is one of those things where I keep trying to remind myself that accidents happen. It feels unbelievable."

Grace will be remembered at service at St Matthew's Church in Helensville at 11am on Wednesday.