Kiwi teen dies in Australian swimming pool complex

A Whangarei teen has died after tragically bashing himself to death at the Lambton Memorial swimming pool in Australia.

Pono Wairua Aperahama suffered what police are calling a medical episode. 

The 17-year-old was at the pool with a carer on Tuesday afternoon. It's not yet known if he had any pre-existing conditions. 

"This young person was trying to strike his head not only by himself but also by striking his head on the concrete path," Max Mitchell, Newcastle Police Assistant Commissioner, said.

Witnesses described the scene as horrendous. 

"It broke my heart," witness Susan Clark said. "I feel for the family. I really do... You don't expect to drop your child off at Lampton swimming pool and find out he's died."

Lifeguards and bystanders tried to restrain Pono but couldn't stop him. Police and witnesses commended those on the scene for their efforts.

"I think they were courageous; they've gone for no other reason but to support the young person," Asst Cmsr Mitchell said. 

"It was horrendous," said Ms Clark. "It was shocking. It was heartbreaking to watch them bring a young child out trying to resuscitate him on the stretcher, and they were still doing it as they were driving off."

Police have offered support to those who helped and referred his death to the coroner.