Brit girl, 3, dies in ‘tragic accident’ at New Zealand playground

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A three-year-old British girl has died in a “tragic accident” at a New Zealand playground.

Amberlie Pennington-Foley was critically injured at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt on Thursday, and she passed away shortly afterwards.

Police described her death as a tragic accident, and it has been referred to the coroner.

The child's family had moved from the UK to New Zealand in 2011 to start a new life.

A Givealittle page has since been set up so their relatives and friends can be flown over.

Mum Emma Pennington-Foley told Stuff: “Words alone will never be enough to convey our heartfelt thanks to everybody who has donated to the Givealittle page or delivered food and flowers to us.

“The whole Upper Hutt community is grieving the loss of our baby right here with us and it’s clear to see that Amberlie has brought our already strong community closer together. She has really touched the lives of so many.

“The love and support of everybody around us – and indeed the world – has literally got us through the last few days. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

The page has so far raised more than £20,000.

It says “it is proving very difficult and expensive to get their family to New Zealand” owing to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions.

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The government has allowed four close family members to travel to New Zealand to support their grieving relatives.

However, this is still subject to paperwork and logistical considerations, Amberlie’s mum said.

Reacting to the tragedy, Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear the news of a child who died following a tragic accident at Harcourt Park today.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We will do everything we can to assist the appropriate authorities with their inquiries.”

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