When Anthony Waye and his family moved to Reporoa from Rotorua a few weeks ago they were on top of the world.

He had his dream farm job, and a family who meant "everything" to him.

Then, on Tuesday morning, the 35-year-old died in a tragic incident while doing a job he loved.

Worksafe confirmed it was investigating the death. A spokeswoman said investigations could take a couple of months to complete.


Police also attended but referred the death to Worksafe and the coroner.

Now family and friends are rallying around his fiancee Vanessa Martin, their 17-year-old daughter Sam and Mr Waye's stepson Jesse, remembering Mr Waye as "one of the good guys".

Speaking on behalf of the family, close friend Nadia Mason said the family were not yet sure exactly what happened.

She said family was everything for Mr Waye.

"Anthony was the type of man that family was his world. Family came before everything.

"[His family] described him as a devoted family man, a very loving father and stepfather."

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Mr Waye and Miss Martin had been together for 18 years and were "sweethearts".

Miss Mason said he loved heavy metal music, the outdoors and animals.

"He was rough on the outside with a heart of gold on the inside."

Initially training and working as a chef, Mr Waye got into farming when Sam was young and Miss Mason said it was a natural fit for him.

"He couldn't stay inside, he couldn't be indoors and do nothing."

Miss Mason said his job at the Reporoa farm was a dream role for him and he was excited for Miss Martin to give up work in Rotorua and help out on the farm.

"They were so happy but they only got four weeks of it."

She said only last week they were talking about how they were going to become a "crazy cat family" - a reference to Mr Waye's love of animals especially the cat he had rescued, who disliked everyone but him.

"He'd get home and Gucci would meow and go to sleep in his lap."

Miss Mason said his kindness and generosity extended to those less fortunate than him and he would often stop and buy homeless people food.

"He genuinely is one of the good guys. He's one of the nicest, caring, giving people you would ever come across."

Miss Mason said Mr Waye had a huge sense of humour - with the family, especially Mr Waye and Sam, playing practical jokes on each other.

She said he was a "Ford and V8 junkie".

He liked politics, the solar system and was always up for a "healthy debate".

Miss Martin had just given up her job to move to the farm, with Mr Waye excited about being the provider so she could stay home and help out on the farm when needed.

"We need to get them relocated to be with family and get them the support they need."

Miss Mason said the focus now was on helping the family and a Givealittle page had been set up to help support Miss Martin and Sam financially, as they were likely to move to be closer to family.

- To support Miss Martin and Sam go to https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/vanessamartin