Support floods in for killed boy's family
The family of Junior Ianuali has been inundated with support from around the Wellington region and Australia, while discussions about reducing speed near schools have ramped up.
Through the Porirua Facebook group, locals have organised baking, fundraisers and monetary donations for the family of Junior, who was killed on Friday when he was hit by a car in Champion St, Cannons Creek.
In addition to collections at talent shows and community events in Porirua, fundraisers had also been organised in Melbourne and the Gold Coast by ex-pat Wellingtonians and Tuvaluan communities.
A planned ''P Town'' event in Melbourne was quickly turned into a fundraising opportunity when word of the accident reached the city. Organiser Leki Wright said a "whole town was praying" for Junior's family.
Collections had also been made at sporting events around the Gold Coast, with donations being made into a fundraising bank account set up for the family. Just over $300 was raised during a talent show at Porirua College on Saturday night.
Leilua Mike Iafeta, who had helped organise some of the community support, said the outpouring of love from the community was wonderful to see.
"The greatest love I see, is those who have nothing to give but are happy to give their time to help in whatever capacity they can."
Porirua City councillor Litea Ah Hoi, who represents the eastern part of Porirua, said community discussion around improving the safety of Champion St had increased significantly since Friday. While introducing speed bumps would not solve the problem, the council was looking at options that could improve safety around school zones, Ms Ah Hoi said.
"We have been looking into reducing vehicle speed around schools to 40kmh, but the trouble is we need to get NZTA's approval and meet a whole raft of criteria that come along with it."
The recommendation would include installing electronic speed signs near each school in Porirua which would cost around $30,000 per sign, Ms Ah Hoi said.
"It is going to be a huge cost to the council, but I'm very supportive of it."
Reducing the speed near schools and driver education were important steps to consider, but were not a catch-all solution.
"There's a whole raft of things that we can all do together as a community to address this issue. It's not just going to be a solution that can come from council, although there are always areas we can improve upon."
The family will be holding a service tomorrow before a funeral on Thursday at Papalaulelei Hall on Commerce Crescent at 10am.
- The Dominion Post
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