Cook Islands locals are coming out swinging against a New Zealand gossip writer for describing the death of Cook Islanders in the South Island as 'natural selection'.
The police say Cook Islander Cindy George and her three children, Pio, Teuruaa and Telyzshaun died from breathing exhaust fumes from a car left running in a garage connected to their house in the town of Ashburton.
The 'natural selection' comments made by Pebbles Hooper on Twitter have received widespread condemnation in New Zealand and across social media.
She has since resigned from her position as a gossip columnist at the New Zealand Herald.
Office manager and counsellor at the Cook Islands' women's counselling centre, Punanga Tauturu, Nga Teinangaro describes Hooper's comments as bullying inhumane, and lacking empathy.
Nga Teinangaro, who is related to the George family, says the family is in grief and they need appropriate and non-judgemental support.