The paraglider who died after crashing into Mauao on Saturday was a confident "people person" who loved his sport, colleagues say.

Josh Graeme Tingey, 28, who was a winning contestant on TVNZ's Our First Home, was enjoying his second flight of the day, smiling and happy, a few moments before he collided with the rocky face of Mauao.

Latitude Surveying Ltd director Trevor Davey said Tingey had been working at the Tauranga company for more than a year.

Davey said he had heard the news of Tingey's tragic death from a friend.

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"He was a young man who went out charging and doing what he loved," Davey said.

He said Tingey studied to be a surveyor in Otago and was working towards becoming a licenced surveyor.

A rescue chopper was used to pinpoint the location of paraglider pilot Joshua Tingey who died on Mauao. Photo/File
A rescue chopper was used to pinpoint the location of paraglider pilot Joshua Tingey who died on Mauao. Photo/File

"He was almost finished," Davey said. "He was a very good people-person and a very good surveyor. He was an enterprising young man, and he is going to be leaving a big hole."

Davey said Tingey would often start work early so he could finish before daylight ended.

"Most afternoons he was always off on some sort of activity, fishing hunting, paragliding," he said. "That was a big part of his drive."

Davey said he had known the Tingey family well and had met Josh about four years before he began working at the company. The pair would often enjoy an after-work beer most Fridays.

"He was a good young man and will be very missed. He had a big level of confidence."

He said Tingey was a keen sportsman and played hockey for the Tauranga Old Boys and he had a good sense of humour, often joining in on office banter particularly about rugby.

"I am a Wallabies supporter, and Josh is an All Black fan through and through," Davey said.

Tingey was part of a prize-winning reality TV show team that won TVNZ's Our First Home.

He and fiancee Rebecca Wotton won $100,000 by making the biggest profit, $99,000, doing up a Henderson house which their parents bought for them and sold after the $780,000 do-up in 2016.