Quiet girl's death preventable

The grieving father of a young girl killed while riding her brand new bicycle said the tragic death could have been prevented.

Shinia Matehaere, 5, and her eight-year-old cousin were crossing a 70kmh stretch of road on their way to the nearby Te Matapihi Kohanga Reo school.

Shinia Matehaere celebrated her fifth birthday in January. Photo: Stuff.

Her father, Rikihana Matehaere, said the community had been lobbying Tauranga City Council "for years" to lower the speed limit outside the school on Saturday, reports Stuff.

They could even have put a pedestrian crossing in there."

There are no crossings in the vicinity of the school where Shinia started her first day shortly after her January 2 birthday.

Tauranga City Council’s chief executive Garry Poole said he wanted to send their deepest sympathies to the family.

"We will investigate this situation immediately."

Rikihana said he and his partner, Shinia’s mother Hine Minarapa, were "barely holding in there" as they tried to find a way to cope with the senseless tragedy.

The couple spent the night at the hospital with their little girl. Close family and friends gathered there with them to grieve on Saturday.

A relative, who did not want to be named, said the tragedy had devastated Shinia’s parents.

"They’re not good, I was just with them," she said.

Details of exactly what happened were not clear, but the children had only just left Shinia’s home when she was struck by the ute.

"The school is right there where the accident happened. We’ve been complaining for years, for a very long time, that it’s 70kmh," the relative said.

"We hope the council listens this time. They wouldn’t even have meetings with us."

Shinia, who was described as a "quiet child", was given the pink and white bicycle she was riding when she died as a gift by her grandmother only last week.

"She only just started coming out of her house, riding out of her house," the relative said.

After Shinia was struck by the 4x4 ute on Saturday, the driver tried to help save her life. But she died from her injuries on the scene.

Hine Minarapa left the scene in the ambulance with her.

Witnesses said seven police cars plus an ambulance were on the scene. Police said the driver was co-operating.

The police serious crash unit conducted a scene examination yesterday afternoon.

Police said it would involve a scene examination, interviewing witnesses and the car will be examined.

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What about her sister??

Posted on 22-04-2016 22:35 | By rajen

Has anyone stopped to consider the huge effect this will have on her 8yr old sister who had the responsibility for Shinia’s safety when it should have been her parents. She will have to live with what has happened through no fault of her own.

Tragic Death

Posted on 22-04-2016 12:52 | By Laurie

could have been prevented by a lower speed limit - maybe - but we won’t know that until the Police S.C.U. finish their investigation. What is certain is that 5 & 8 yr old children should not have been riding bikes on a busy road without adult supervision. Interesting that head of road policing Ian Campion stated (in the other Tga paper) that drink driving NOT speeding has been identified as the biggest problem on Matapihi roads & is at its worst on the rural section of Matapihi Rd.

Let's wait for facts

Posted on 18-04-2016 12:03 | By Annalist

A lot of commenters are quick to judge. Lets wait to see what actually happened. Meantime please don’t let young kids out on roads, it’s a predicable accident waiting to happen. My thoughts and sympathy are with the innocent young girl.


Posted on 17-04-2016 20:00 | By Capt_Kaveman

limits may not stop a kid of 5 or 8 crossing the road without thought, in reality my kids at that age would not be allowed out the gate on their own, i did for a long time tried to get Welcome Bay Rd down to 60pkh from 70kph it took 10years, Cambridge rd is a joke at 60 and needs to go up to 70kph as 80 was to high, again here i would support Matapihi Rd to be reduced to 60kph, we dont know how fast this driver was going and if the outcome would be any dif, what a sad loss

While everybody is out to lynch the council

Posted on 17-04-2016 19:54 | By Devils-advocate

it seems that nobody has questioned why a 5 year old is riding a bike on such a road without being adequately supervised? I don’t mean to diminish the immense tragedy for all involved, but as usual, the knee-jerk reaction is to point the finger anywhere else but where it should be. Personal responsibility, people, there’s a foreign concept for y’all.

@evict...Please stop you misjudging

Posted on 17-04-2016 17:24 | By NotNat

My heartfelt sympathies go to the family.....Heart felt condolences to family and friends. Absolutely gut wrenching.....Tauranga council sucks at keeping the community safe (which of these comments are towards the family?) Have you misunderstood these comments of SUPPORT towards the young girls family? Maybe the negative comments have been removed..

This is a tragedy yes

Posted on 17-04-2016 16:06 | By kellbell

......but the following needs to be pointed out- this was an inexperienced 5 year old young girl allowed to cycle near to or on a reasonably busy road unsupervised, and a vehicle with a driver was involved.It is all very well complaining about no pedestrian crossings and lower speed limits(we don’t know if speed was a factor) near schools but this accident was some 400metres away and last but not least this was a fine weather Saturday not a school day.Just think about all that for a minute !!!


Posted on 17-04-2016 13:49 | By Puppet

Please stop with the misinformation! The accident occurred on a bend on the open road over 400m from the Kohanga Reo, which is down a different road and has a 25kph limit and 2 speed bumps.

Please stop

Posted on 17-04-2016 13:40 | By evict

You don’t have to comment on everything. Hold your tongue with your superior judgement, parenting advice, wisdom. The speed does need to be lowered. Maybe Shinia would’ve survived. Sadly she has not. Leave the family alone.

Why is death

Posted on 17-04-2016 12:27 | By NotNat

Always required before the council makes changes. Disgusting that someone has to suffer severely before any action is ever taken. This is all too common situation. Tauranga council sucks at keeping the community safe! Sorry for your loss. RIP young one

This is terrible

Posted on 17-04-2016 10:12 | By

but i do not think this has anything to do with TCC,ive been all through this as well me lost step brother at the KI iwi beach years ago drowned, it is a terrible thing that has happenend, but for GOSH sake dont BLAME anyone,it will not bring your little one back ,it never bought me litte bro back,its happened its sad so lets not thow stones in GLASS HOUSES,me thinks wrong place wrong time, my thoughts are with you today ,with LOVE from MUMMA and TEDDY Bear,we all have to be carefull out there in this big world,me and wahine lost 6 family in one year in 2009, so no know what loss is,its devastating,gosh i was at my wits end,i have no one left now so being a LONER i understand,its sad but true,all i ask you from a old man is PLEASE DO NOT FIGHT OVER THI

Complaining to the wrong people perhaps?

Posted on 17-04-2016 09:52 | By Murray.Guy

Heart felt condolences to family and friends. Absolutely gut wrenching. These rural residential areas are dangerous as their zoning often dictates no footpaths, reduced street lighting and high traffic speeds. In one breath, staff will tell you they are restricted to apply NZTA guidelines for speed setting and in the next, that the NZTA gives ownership to a local authority. For a number of years Mayor Crosby and I lobbied staff to reduce speed to 50kph in our respective rural residential areas, as did the folk on Cambridge Rd with eventual success. Please, if you have a concern, seek to have your community made safer, ’include ALL the elected members’ in your submissions. It is their role to advocate on your behalf. Shinia has been taken from those who loved and treasured her, Shinia has been denied a full live span. We must ensure we learn and act responsibly.

A needless tragedy?

Posted on 17-04-2016 09:07 | By nerak

My heartfelt sympathies go to the family of this beautiful wee angel; nothing I can say will ease the pain in your hearts, except look for a new star above. But I am saddened, and sickened, to read that people in your local area have lobbied TCC hard and long to get an appropriate speed limit in place along this stretch of road. I believe all schools need a speed limit surrounding them, and find it unacceptable this is not the case. TCC in particular needs to prioritise matters which come to their attention, and maybe, just maybe, if they had Garry Poole would not be extending sympathies to this family, nor far too late saying "We will investigate this situation immediately," TCC, you may well have had a chance for this tragedy not to have happened. I have thought carefully before commenting, and send my love to the family

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