A small community is reeling after a 7-year-old girl died on the grounds of Walton School, just outside of Matamata, last Thursday afternoon.
Ellie Marie Kurth was the daughter of Walton School principal Jeremy Kurth and teacher Anna Kurth.
Police confirmed they were called to the scene at 1.55pm, along with an ambulance. It's understood Ellie's condition worsened, and despite medical attention, she died at the scene from what is believed to be a 'medical event'.
A funeral notice in the Waikato Times on Monday wrote, "Our beautiful little Ellie Minelli, why did this happen?"
"We are so incredibly heartbroken at the thought of life without you. You were so special to so many people and brought laughter and light to our lives every single day. You and Brenna are everything to us and always will be. Your beautiful spirit always shines and will never ever dim. We miss you Ellie. Sleep tight our darling girl. We love you so much, now and forever x."
Friends of the family have taken to the school's Facebook page to express condolences and memories, and described her as "a little sweetheart" and a "beautiful angel".
Walton School Board of Trustees said in a statement Ellie's death was a "terrible shock to her family, staff, students and the wider Walton School community".
"This is of course a very sad and difficult time for our staff and tight knit school community who are pulling together to deal with this tragic event. Our collective thoughts are with the Kurth family at this terrible time of loss."
Funeral guests were asked to "come celebrate her life in colourful clothing" at the Matamata Bible Church at 1pm on Tuesday.