Family and friends farewell Rae Portman
Rae Portman was a caring, bubbly woman. She was always there for her friends and family when they needed her, even if she was a couple of days late.
That was the message shared today at the funeral of the daughter, sister and friend, whose body was found on a remote Auckland property months after she went missing.
About 100 people gathered at the Te Aroha Race Course today to say goodbye to the 33-year-old and Brooke, her unborn baby boy.
The funeral service began at 11am with a eulogy from Rae's brother Ben, followed by tributes from her father Alistair and some of her friends.
Portman was described by her father as a ''sunbeam'' who would brighten the mood in any situation.
''She had that bubbly personality that just changed everything,'' he said.
Portman said it should not have happened like this, and that it was difficult to understand why he was burying his daughter.
"Never in my wildest imaginings would I have thought that I would have to do this, it should be the reverse," he said.
Her brother, Ben Portman, recalled her as a people magnet who ''really touched a lot of people's hearts''.
He also thanked the police on behalf of the family for their efforts in bringing Rae home.
He said during his last conversation with her, she had assured him that she would be ok.
''She always had a tendency to make people believe that she'd be ok,'' he said.
Rae Portman had been missing since June 20 - when she was last seen at the Mt Albert Motor Lodge in Auckland.
After a search stretching more than three months police unexpectedly found her body at an Ardmore address during a follow-up visit on 27 September.
The body was returned to her family last Saturday after being formally identified.
A 32-year-old Hamilton man has been charged with kidnapping Portman and police say more charges were likely.