The Franz Josef community is in shock after local hero Tim Gibb was killed in a plane crash.
Gibb's plane went down in the Southern Alps on Thursday, en route to Rangiora from Franz Josef.
Family friends have set up a Givealittle page to bring Gibbs' daughter home from Croatia, where she was travelling.
So far, more than $26,000 has been raised to support the family.
Gibb was well-known within the Franz Josef community, serving as a deputy chief firefighter as well as the Civil Defence Officer.
Family friends have remembered Gibb as a well-respected individual who devoted 15-20 years of service to his community.
"This is devastating news and a great loss to our very close knit community," his friend wrote on the fundraising page.
Attempts to reach the crash site were put on hold due to bad weather.