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Fresh journalism graduate Rhys Frank Brookbanks was in his first weeks of work when the earthquake struck.
Rhys, 25, was one of the many victims in the CTV building, which collapsed and caught fire.
Jim Tully, Rhys' journalism tutor, said the CTV reporter was "a really loveable, gentle young man" who had everyone's admiration and respect.
He had been living overseas with his fiancee, Esther Jones, before he shifted to Christchurch to study journalism at Canterbury University last year, Mr Tully said.
"He was a poet and he had such a flair for writing. I'm absolutely gutted. I hate to see young people with enormous potential cut off well before they were even able to show the world what they are made of. I'm really struggling to come to terms with this."