The young woman who fell to her death trying to negotiate a waterfall face at Wanaka's Mount Aspiring National Park was the daughter of a high-profile US politician.
The Alaska Dispatch News is reporting Nicole Leman, 24, is the daughter of former Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman.
"It is painful beyond belief to lose a child," Lt Gen Leman said.
Ms Leman and her climbing partner were on a four-day trek and were trying to get past Matukituki Waterfall near Rabbit Pass when the accident occurred on Wednesday.
Nearby trekkers went to her aid and immediately called emergency services for help.