Friends of the Belarus tramper who died in mysterious circumstances in the Tararua Ranges say they are "puzzled" by his death.
Father-of-two Mykhailo Stepura, also known as Michael, and Pavel, known as Paul, Pazniak, died on an overnight tramp to the Alpha Hut from the Waiohine Gorge campsite.
Stepura, 39, is originally from the Ukraine but lives in Lower Hutt, and Pazniak, 32, lives in Auckland and is originally from Belarus. Both worked for accounting software giant Xero.
Mikalai Dunets created a Givealittle page for Pazniak and said his death was a tragedy that was "very shocking and puzzling for us".
In an update posted on the page, Dunets said Pazniak was "a good and intelligent man".
"A friend always ready to help, great professional in his field, and experienced enthusiastic tramper."
So far, $22,462 had been raised for the Pazniak family.
On the Givealittle page Pazniak is described as a "loving husband and father for his partner and two young kids, and a sole provider for his family".
Friends of Stepura also set up a givealittle page to support his grieving family and $19,850 has been raised.
A Stepura family spokesperson yesterday said everyone was still in shock at his death as it was so sudden.
The software engineer was also the main breadwinner for his family. He leaves behind wife Natalie and their two sons aged 6 and 16.