A Canterbury man has drowned on the Gold Coast after he became caught in a rip.

Nigel Werahiko, 50, died on Tuesday.

The father of three had been living in Australia for the last decade and was originally from the Christchurch area.

Mr Werahiko was remembered on a Facebook page for line mechanics.


"We would like to acknowledge the passing of liney brother Nigel Werahiko on the Gold Coast Australia late last night," the post read.

"The whanau in both Australia and New Zealand will miss him dearly and are now busy making arrangements to bring him home to the family home. Deepest sympathies to family, friends and workmates. RIP Nigel (Fatty), fly high brother."

Mr Werahiko is survived by his wife Gail and their three daughters Krystal, Carly and Mikayla.

The family are well-known in softball circles, with the Werahiko sisters playing for Canterbury.

On the Sydenham Kereru Softball club Facebook page information was posted on behalf of the family.

The message said Mr Werahiko's body would be arriving in New Zealand late tomorrow night.

"The whanau hope to have him home with them sometime on Monday. Gail, Carly, Krystal and Mikayla would like to open their home to you all from 6pm Monday night for anyone wishing to pay their respects. It will be low key and informal at the house."

Mr Werahiko's funeral will be held on Wednesday afternoon.

"The whanau would also like to thank everyone for their ongoing support," the post said.

The family have been inundated with condolence messages and tributes for Mr Werahiko were flowing on social media.

"A hard working man and loyal to everyone, Nigel had a beautiful calming nature that couldn't be broken," said Pourewa Kingi.

"He would smile while busting his butt at work day in day out. It was a pleasure working with you, fly high my bro."

Mr Werahiko's played rugby for Prebbleton, just out of Christchurch.

Club secretary Steve Laughton advised club members of the tragedy on Facebook.

"For those of you that may not be aware we lost one of our past players this week through tragic circumstances in Australia - Nigel Werahiko," he wrote.

"The Werahiko family have been stalwarts of the club for many years and have had three generations play through the grades from midgets to seniors, Nigel being one of them. From the club we would like to pass on our heartfelt sympathy the Werahiko family. As a mark of respect I would ask that all senior players wear black armbands for this Saturday's game. RIP Nigel. A Prebbleton Warrior gone far too early."