Generous friends and supporters of a young mother who lost her partner in a motorbike crash this week have taken like "wildfire" to an online fund established for the mum and her baby daughter.

Alan Austrin, a 26-year-old writer, musician and student, lost his life in a motorcycle crash on Paekakariki Beach north of Wellington yesterday.

He was in a relationship with Rebecca Nash, also a writer, with whom he had a baby daughter, 4-month-old Noelle.

Ms Nash, also 26, completed two Master's programmes while she was pregnant with Noelle last year.


Friend Ines Almeida set up the Givealittle fundriaising page today after realising the financial challenges her friend would face raising Noelle without Mr Austrin.

"She's this powerhouse of a person and for this kind of tragedy to strike is just awful," Ms Almeida said.

She said Mr Austrin was "a lovely, laid-back guy" who really loved his daughter.

Ms Almeida said the news of the Rebecca Nash Trust page on Givealittle had spread like "wildfire" and the response had been beautiful. Donors have already raised thousands of dollars within hours.

"I set it up and honestly, I refreshed it after five minutes and there was already $800," Ms Almeida said. "I couldn't believe it. It was crazy."

Ms Almeida emailed all her contacts, told her colleagues at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand and shared the link on Facebook. The Victoria University Institute of Modern Writers also helped to spread the word.

By 6pm, $2,425 was raised.

Ms Almeida moved to New Zealand from Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada about eight years ago and said the public's response to the tragedy had reaffirmed her love for her adopted country.


"It's just really incredible. New Zealand is so beautiful in that sense. You guys really take care of your own and I just think it's amazing."

Ms Nash is originally from Auckland, where her parents still live. She and Mr Austrin also lived in Lyttelton at one point when she was studing at the University of Canterbury.

The couple then moved up to Wellington for Rebecca to do her Master's degree in creative writing at Victoria.

Her mum had arrived to be with her and friends were also rallying around her.

Ms Almeida understood the couple had many friends in and around Christchurch and it wasn't yet clear where Mr Austrin's memorial service would be held.

Donors to the Givealittle page could choose to include their name or be anonymous. Those who donated could also share their thoughts and condolences on the page.

Mr Austrin went out to ride his motorbike on Wednesday night. A member of the public walking along the beach found him next to his motorcycle near the edge of the surf the next morning.

Police said Mr Austrin was still wearing his helmet when he was found.

The cause of the crash was not immediately established.

Click here to donate to the Rebecca Nash Trust.