Habitat for Humanity has paid tribute to a US tourist who helped with the Christchurch rebuild before he died while snorkelling off the Kaikoura coast at the wekend.
Vincent He, 32, who worked in the IT industry, was visiting New Zealand from Boston, Massachusetts.
During his visit he spent two weeks volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and helping with small repairs to 50 houses in Chrischurch's green zone.
Habitat for Humanity NZ marketing manager David Lawson said Mr He had decided to go snorkelling in Kaikoura on Saturday, "just for a break".
He had left friends near Omihi camping ground, 15 minutes south of Kaikoura, to search for paua on a rocky shelf.
When his friends came to find him by boat there was no sign of him.
His body was recovered on Sunday, 70m offshore.
Paul Galbraith, project manager for the Habitat for Humanity Christchurch Rebuild, said Mr He was a "great guy to have on the team".
"He was a pretty loyal sort of person, he enjoyed life, followed instructions very, very well.
Mr Gailbraith said Mr He used his background in IT to make valuable suggestions around getting more people involved in the project.
"He really enjoyed his time."
Mr He had spent two weeks in Auckland and had stayed with close friends.
He was planning to do the Milford Track this week and travel more of the country before heading home.
Mr He's family would travel to Christchurch for a memorial service on Friday.