Relatives of a young butcher who died suddenly at the weekend have made a heartfelt plea to the Prime Minister to allow them to attend his funeral.
Roy Green, 38, died at the weekend after his business went into liquidation a week ago.
The father-of-two owned the store in Pukekohe, South Auckland, and had run it for about five years. The Herald understands Green had also been struggling with other personal issues not related to the business.
One of Green's cousins, Bianca Rhind, has sent a letter to PM Jacinda Ardern pleading for the rules to be relaxed and to allow more than 10 people to attend their loved one's funeral service.
"I'm not sure if you will receive this. I'm going to reach out hoping you do," Rhind writes in the letter, which she sent to the Herald.
"My cousin Roy Green, who you may have seen on TV recently talking about the effects Covid-19 has had on his business in Pukekohe.
"Roy's company went into liquidation last week and I know his business is not the only one suffering."
Rhind tells Ardern about her cousin's sudden death - leaving behind a wife and two children as a well as a community he gave a lot to, she says.
"My family and I watched your announcement [on Monday] hoping that you would allow more than 10 people to attend funerals. Sadly, this is not the case.
"I want to attend my cousin's funeral along with the rest of my family and, I'm sure, half of the Franklin district."
The PM announced on Monday that the country would be moving into alert level 2 tomorrow. Despite many businesses and other parts of society being allowed to open again, the rules for funerals and tangihanga remain the same as they were in alert level 3.
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Rhind goes on to acknowledge that although exceptions are not expected - and she understands why - she wonders if there is another option available.
"Is there anyway we can do this in a safe way to allow the people who love and care about Roy to have the opportunity to say goodbye?"
The Government is under increasing pressure to review the rules and restrictions around funerals in level 2 - the National Party says the limits are not only unkind, but "inhumane".
A statement provided by Green's family yesterday described the extended family as being extremely close.
They are also well-respected and known widely in the Pukekohe community.
"Roy was so proud of all that he had achieved - he owned his own business and had a beautiful family," the statement read.
"We all love him so dearly, and are so grateful to have had him in our lives. Our Roy, you will be eternally missed."
In a family notice in the Herald today, Green is described as an "awesome" dad to his little ones, Leah and Coby, and a loved uncle to his many nephews and nieces.
Details for his funeral have not yet been made public.
Green is survived by his mother and stepfather, Joy and Ian Neilson, wife, siblings and children.
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