Police provide update after Australian girl dies during family holiday in New Zealand

New Zealand Police have dispelled speculation over the death of an Australian girl who died while holidaying in the country with her family.

The 10-year-old girl died after falling into, and being swept down the fast-flowing Marian Creek, in Fiordland National Park at the southern end of the country’s south island, on Thursday morning.

Southland Area commander inspector Mike Bowman said the girl was found and removed from the water a short time later.

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Te Anau sergeant Tod Hollebon told Stuff the girl had travelled a “considerable distance” after falling into the water.

CPR was performed, and a doctor was flown to the scene, but the girl could not be revived.

“The Marian Creek is an extremely fast-flowing, turbulent body of water,” Bowman said.

“We are aware of speculation that the child fell from a viewing platform, however this is incorrect.”

Police confirmed the family was from New South Wales and the girl’s siblings were part of the travelling group.

“The family has lost a young daughter, and a sister, and we are doing what we can to support them,” Bowman said.

Marian Creek is located in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. Credit: Puripatl/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The area where the incident occurred was “fairly accessible” and popular with tourists, Southland District Council mayor Rob Scott told RNZ on Friday.

The area had experienced significant rainfall recently, but the weather was “standard” on Thursday, Scott said.

The mayor said he had not spoken to the girl’s family, but described the incident as “heartbreaking”.

“I can imagine they’re going through a very tough time.”

“It’s just such a huge tragedy.”

Police are working with and supporting the girl’s family during the investigation.

“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and, understandably, they have requested privacy,” Bowman said.

Safety investigation

The Department of Conservation (DOC) said on Friday it will launch an internal safety investigation following the girl’s death.

“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family and everyone involved in this tragic event,” DOC operations manager Te Anau Graeme Davies said.

“We’re not aware of any damage to the Marian Track following last weekend’s storm, and a further inspection yesterday confirmed there is no visible damage to any structures.

“Regardless, we’ll also be undertaking an internal safety investigation – which is our standard process following any serious incident.

“It’s always distressing to hear of tragic instances like this.

“We want everyone to enjoy these vast, wild spaces safely and our hearts go out to all involved.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to 7NEWS.com.au on Thursday that DFAT “is providing consular assistance to the family” of the girl.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family at this difficult time,” the department added.

“Owing to our privacy obligations we are unable to provide further comment.”

Police will prepare a report for the coroner. Investigations continue.

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