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Child-sized coffins blessed by NZ's Samoan community before being sent overseas amid measles crisis

Twenty four coffins will be sent over to Samoa from New Zealand next week, for families who have lost loved ones to the deadly measles epidemic. 

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Twenty baby coffins and four adult coffins will travel to Samoa next week. Source: 1 NEWS

Today, members of the Samoan community in New Zealand blessed the coffins, which were being packed up to be sent to Samoa.

Kiwi Coffin Club of Rotorua built the coffins, while Mainfreight has supplied free domestic transport and Air NZ is flying the coffins over. 

New Zealand Samoa Trade and Investment Commission's chairman, Tuala Tagaloa Tusani, will escort the coffins across next Thursday. 

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They’ve now been banned from visiting him at the morgue, and other families are in a similar situation, Barbara Dreaver reports. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Tusani made the phone call to Kiwi Coffin Club last week to request the coffins. He says the journey will be a sad one. 

"But if it can bring comfort to those who have lost loved ones then that's what you've gotta do," said Mr Tusani. 

"For Samoa to see that Samoans and friends of Samoa are not sitting still, then I think that brings comfort," he said. 

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There is growing anger in Samoa about how the spread of the disease has been handled. Source: 1 NEWS

Twenty of the coffins are sized for babies, while four are for adults.

"But the coffins are a sad reminder of where we are at." 

As of yesterday, the death toll in Samoa's measles crisis stood at 71 - the vast majority of which have been children. However, 1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver has reported that its likely not all of the deaths have been reported yet.