A desire to support his family was behind Syed Ahmed's move to New Zealand from Karachi in Pakistan about 18 months ago.

One of his uncles, Muhammad Muzaffar Khan, described the 26-year-old as deeply religious and said he prayed five times a day.

Education was always his first priority, Khan said.

"He had done chartered accountancy from Pakistan. He was the only son to his parents. He had only one younger sister ... He had only started his career."

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Ahmed worked for PwC New Zealand who posted a tribute to him on Facebook.

"Areeb was a loved and respected member of our PwC family who lived our values every day," it said.

Syed Areeb Ahmed was deeply religious and keen to learn. Photo / Supplied
Syed Areeb Ahmed was deeply religious and keen to learn. Photo / Supplied

"His smile, warmth, dedication, respect and humour will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Muslim community, our PwC team and their families and all people affected by this terrible event."

Ahmed's family was told he and a friend arrived to pray just before the shooting began. His friend survived because he was parking the car.

By 5pm on Monday, more than $40,000 had been donated to a Givealittle page set up by the PwC foundation to raise funds for his family in Pakistan.

A tribute to Syed Ahmed at Hagley Park. Photo / Michael Craig
A tribute to Syed Ahmed at Hagley Park. Photo / Michael Craig