A Tauranga woman has made contact with her estranged father who she hasn't seen in more than 26 years after her mother spotted her former partner on the news.
Kelly Francis' mum was watching Newshub on Friday night when she recognised Darrell McGrath on her screen during a story about dangerous motorists stopping to photograph flowering lupins on the side of the road.
"She could hear the voice of my dad on the show and then the name came up," Francis told Newshub.
"She said, 'Oh my gosh, I think that's Kelly's dad,' to my brother and my stepdad."
The Timaru man, a local in the area, had seen "40 minutes of carnage" while driving along State Highway 8 near Tekapo and is worried that interest in the pink and purple perfect shot will cost someone their life.
Francis' mum rewound the item for a second look, realising she had once started her family with the man voicing his concern almost 30 years ago.
Their young daughter was just around 18 months old when she left the relationship in the midst of a irreparable breakdown and lost all contact.
Francis, now 29 years old, has been desperately searching for him since she the age of 23.
After a church event on Friday night, she finally spoke with her mum who told her: "I found someone you've been looking for."
Francis jumped onto Facebook and was able to find him. Via Messenger, she asked him to confirm his middle name and if he had a twin brother, adding: "I think you're someone I know."
He replied back: "I think you're my daughter."
McGrath had made the connection by looking at her photos before recognising her facial features and had got the feeling it was her.
The pair are now arranging a date to meet face-to-face.
Francis has offered to buy her father a ticket so she can see him in the flesh, but their reunion will have to wait.
McGrath has turned down the opportunity until he can fund the trip himself, urging her to use money left over from her wedding in October on herself.
"I really want to see him," she said. "He really wants to see me. It's really buzzy."