REST IN PEACE: Gofundme launched to bring late Chinchilla man home to NZ. Pic: Supplied
REST IN PEACE: Gofundme launched to bring late Chinchilla man home to NZ. Pic: Supplied

Gofundme launched to bring late Chinchilla man home to NZ

The Chinchilla community has banded together in the hopes they can return Tony Edwards to his family in New Zealand after his tragic death on New Years Day.

After working across the Western Downs for years, the New Zealander moved to Chinchilla five years ago where made a home for himself - as well as lifelong friends.

The 59-year-old's friends, Warwick Polzin and partner Karen Fleming, launched a GoFundMe page in the hopes of raising $10,000 to get Mr Edwards to his hometown for a traditional Tangihanga burial.

Ms Fleming first met Edwards when the pair were working at the Windmill Gardens Retirement Village, and said his large family is heartbroken and desperate to have him home.

"Any donations are welcome, it doesn't matter if it's just five dollars, it's just about bringing him home," she said.

"His family needs closure, and they want to be able to bury him with his parents."

Warwick Polzin said Mr Edwards wore many hats in life as an ex-skipperman, road worker, and groundsman - although his most defining characteristic was his heart.

"He really had a heart of gold - he would bend over backwards for anyone," he said.

Ms Fleming said a memorial day will be planned for the kind hearted Māori at the local Bowls Club and everyone will be welcome to come and pay their respects.

No matter how big or small, all donations are welcome, and can be made via the GoFundMe page HERE.