A teenager whose father died in the Fox Glacier plane crash says he is thrilled Rhys Darby will be making an appearance at his high school today.
Jake Miller, 17, invited Darby on Facebook about a year ago to speak to more than 500 Year 9 and 10 students from Christchurch Boys' High School.
Darby, who is in Christchurch to promote his upcoming show This Way to Spaceship at the CBS arena on October 3, said he was happy to accept Miller's invitation to talk to students as part of a leadership programme Miller has developed at his high school.
"I hear that Jake is a remarkable young man. He lost his dad in the Fox Glacier plane crash in late 2010 and yet has still marched forward arranging this speakers series and showing what a highly motivated guy he is. He managed to get Helen Clark, John Key, Rob Fyfe...and me," Darby said.
"Oh crikey, two out of three are civil servants; I hope they are not expecting Murray!"
Miller said Clark, Key and Fyfe made "incredible" speeches.
"When Helen Clark was here a few weeks ago, not one boy made a sound or even moved the whole time she spoke.
"She told us about what other boys our age are dealing with in third world countries and if we ever found the going getting tough in Christchurch, to try hard to put it in perspective and keep moving forward," Miller said.
Darby says with the incredibly difficult times Christchurch people have been through and continue to be challenged by, he is looking forward to bringing This Way to Spaceship to town in early October.
The show is the live version of his top selling first novel, This Way to Spaceship, 'a handy autobiographical end of world companion' which was published earlier this year and stayed at the top of the International Bestseller List in New Zealand for seven weeks.
The tragic skydiving crash on September 4, 2010 near the Fox Glacier claimed the lives of nine people, including Skydive New Zealand director and tandem dive master Rod Miller, 55, of Greymouth, pilot Chaminda Senadhira, 33, of Queenstown; and dive masters Adam Bennett, 47, from Australia but living in Motueka, Michael Suter, 32, of New Plymouth, and Christopher McDonald, 62, of Mapua.
The tourists who died were Patrick Byrne, 26, of Ireland; Glenn Bourke, 18, of Australia; Annika Kirsten, 23, of Germany and Brad Coker, 24, of England.