A sculpture honouring legendary local rafting guide Keith ‘Chief’ Haare will be unveiled at Queenstown Cemetery this Saturday, a year to the day after he died of a heart attack.
Haare collapsed, and couldn’t be revived, while leading a rafting trip on the Shotover River.
The 62-year-old had guided thousands of trips since the early 90s, and was always popular with his clientele.
His partner Charmaine Taylor says his sudden death was devastating.
“I don’t know he’d had a sick day in his life, to be honest – he didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs.”
Besides his pool and guitar playing, she says he loved his job – “he went to work happy every day”.
Soon after his death, the Shotover’s Mother rapid was renamed ‘Moana-Roa Chief’ in his honour.
His two daughters are expected to come from Australia for Saturday’s ceremony.
Saturday’s unveiling takes place at 2pm, followed by a gathering at Frankton Arm Tavern.