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Operator supports NZers after son's death

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/04/2017
Eugene Mahauariki fell from the ride at a carnival in Rye, on the Mornington Peninsula, on Easter Monday. © ABC News Eugene Mahauariki fell from the ride at a carnival in Rye, on the Mornington Peninsula, on Easter Monday.

The Australian amusement company operating a ride that killed a six-year-old boy, the son of New Zealand parents, says it is supporting the child's grieving family.

Eugene Mahauariki was flung from the Cha Cha at a carnival in Rye, on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, on Easter Monday.

He died at the Royal Children's Hospital on Friday, his devastated family confirmed in a statement on Saturday.

One of Eugene's parents is employed by ride operator Wittingslow Amusements.

"Our hearts and sincerest thoughts remain firmly with his family at this sad time, as well as their friends and extended family here and in New Zealand," Wittingslow said in a statement.

"We grieve with them and we are doing everything we can to ensure everyone gets the support they need.

"The entire Wittingslow family and all of our staff are devastated by what occurred last week."

Eugene's parents Tammy and Stacey Mahauariki described their son as an energetic boy who loved to play with his siblings and dogs.

"Eugene was a happy, kind and caring boy and he loved nothing more than to dance," their statement read.

WorkSafe is investigating the incident, including the height requirements for riders, to determine if all safety procedures had been followed.

The safety watchdog had earlier said it appeared the ride was being used by carnival workers and their families after the carnival had closed.

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