Trans-Tasman custody battle for Kiwi mum's boys

Trans-Tasman custody battle for Kiwi mum's boys

The family of a Kiwi woman allegedly stabbed to death by her husband in Brisbane are bracing themselves for a trans-Tasman custody battle.

Australia's court has allowed Sandra Peniamina's children to come to New Zealand to attend her funeral, but it's only a temporary victory for her family.

Now they're bracing for a legal fight to keep her four young boys here permanently.

Ms Peniamina was allegedly stabbed to death by the children's biological father Arona Peniamina.

Although he's in prison, by law he still has a right to say where his children go.

"It's an unstable environment for them ... we're trying to make it stable for them because they've all told us they don't want to go back to Australia," says the boys' aunty Carnetra Potter.

While the boys may be back with their New Zealand-based family for now, a temporary court order states they must return to Australia by the beginning of May.

But Ms Peniamina's family wants to fight for permanent custody from New Zealand.

"At the moment we're just dealing with lawyers -- that's our best option at the moment: to go through their advice on what to do next."

Their aunty says the four boys are happy to be in Auckland, but are still coming to terms with losing their mum.

"They have their moments ... they do miss their mum. Sometimes they cry missing their mum."

Their aunty says if she has to, she'll go back to Australia with them -- but is vowing not to give up the fight.

The family is still deciding what its next legal step will be, but say they no longer harbour any anger over Sandra's death.

They say their main focus now is keeping her four young boys.