3 Apr 2024

Friends of Kiwi who died in Australia raising funds to bring body home

10:14 am on 3 April 2024
Danielle Whittaker has died after a suspected overdose during celebrations for her 40th birthday on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Danielle Whittaker. Photo: Supplied

Family and friends of a New Zealand woman who died on Australia's Gold Coast in a suspected overdose are trying to bring her body home.

Danielle Whittaker, originally from Wellington, died on Good Friday while celebrating her 40th birthday with friends in an apartment, Queensland police said.

Emergency services were called to The Esplanade unit about 11pm after she was found dead while two of her friends were taken to hospital.

Her loved ones hope they can repatriate her body back to New Zealand.

Josephine Harris, a friend of Whittaker, started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to cover the costs of getting her body home.

"Danni was larger than life, a fierce defender of what she believed was right, creative, clever, hilarious and always fun to be around," Harris said on the page.

"She would want her body returned to the earth of New Zealand."

The cost to repatriate Whittaker would cost around $10,000, Harris said, which was an "unexpected" cost on her family.

"Her friends would love to help the family out by raising money to assist."

Whittaker's family were "still processing" their grief, Harris said, and details of a funeral and memorial service would be shared with loved ones "when the time was right".

Queensland Police said Whittaker's death was not being treated as suspicious, and they would prepare a report for the Coroner.