A 20-year-old who died after getting into difficulties while kayaking on a gorge south of Hokitika has been named.

He was Sean Gary Curtis of Raglan.

Mr Curtis was kayaking with a group on the Whitcombe River yesterday afternoon when he got into difficulty in rapids in Colliers Gorge.

He was pulled unconscious from the water by his companions who tried to revive him but attempts were unsuccessful.

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Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Watson said the group were all experienced white water kayakers and were well equipped. He said conditions at the time were fine.