Police name Rotorua shooting victim



Police have released the name of the hunter fatally shot near Rotorua this morning.

He is James Dodds, aged 30, of Rotorua.

See latest story here

The body of the hunter fatally shot south of Rotorua this morning will remain in the bush overnight.

Police reached Mr Dodds' body this afternoon in very steep, rugged terrain off the Te Kopia Road in the Waikite Valley.

It was hoped the body could be extracted by helicopter today but deteriorating weather conditions and a lowering cloud base ruled this out.

The wet, slippery conditions and coming darkness meant it was unsafe to carry the body out today, police said.

Police would be guarding the scene overnight and it was hoped the body would be brought out of the bush tomorrow.





Earlier story

Police are trying to reach the body of a hunter believed to have been fatally shot by another hunter near Rotorua this morning.

The body is located in a remote bush area off the Te Kopia Road in the Waikite Valley, around 30km south of Rotorua.

Police were alerted just before 8am this morning.

Members of the Armed Offenders Squad who were returning from an unrelated matter were diverted to the scene. 

They met the hunter who had reported the shooting.  

Police said the local man in his 30s told them he had mistakenly shot a friend he had been hunting with.

He was in a very distressed state but was assisting police staff with the investigation.

A rescue helicopter was at the scene along with medical staff. 

Police Search and Rescue staff are still trying to locate the other hunter.



The investigation is being led by Rotorua CIB.

"The challenging location means it will be some time before we can piece together exactly what happened." says Inspector Bruce Horne, Rotorua Area Commander.

"However, based on the information we have at this stage, it appears that the shooting was accidental; and another tragic reminder of the absolute necessity for hunters to properly identify their target before they shoot."



Earlier story:

Rotorua police are investigating the fatal shooting of a hunter in a remote area south of  Rotorua.

Police were alerted to the incident at 8am by another hunter.

Police and CIB staff are at the scene in a remote area in the Waikite Valley around 30km south of Rotorua. Medical support is also there.


The Daily Post understands cordons have now been taken down and roads have been reopened.

The hunter who reported the shooting is now with police and "assisting with the investigation", police said.

The incident was believed to involve two men in their 20s, police said.

The remote nature of the scene meant it may be a while before further details could be made available, they said.


We earlier reported that the Rotorua police Armed Offenders Squad was called to Te Kopia Rd  in the Waikite Valley this morning.

 It was understood police were searching for a man in bush area.

More updates to follow.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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