School honours student killed on orchard

By Sam Hurley -
This vehicle was towed from the orchard following the fatal crash. Photo/Glenn Taylor.
This vehicle was towed from the orchard following the fatal crash. Photo/Glenn Taylor.

A 17-year-old boy killed this week on a Hastings orchard was a bright, ambitious kid with it "all in front of him" just days after finishing his final year at high school.

Ira Gannaway-Gardner died after he fell from a home-built vehicle on the Twyford Rd orchard about 11.30am on Tuesday.

Yesterday the Napier Boys' High School student was remembered during the end-of-year prizegiving.

Principal Ross Brown said Ira was due to accept the commerce and humanity award, the first time the award was presented.

"He was a delightful kid, very ambitious."

Mr Brown said the 17-year-old was to attend Victoria University next year to study commerce.

"There was a powhiri and a very powerful haka that was led by the prefects. It was a very emotional time."

He said a number of fellow students were also orchard workmates with Ira.

The school's Year 13 dean, Anne Millward-Brown, said Ira's sister received the award on his behalf.

"It was a very emotional time. To lose a boy is just awful."

She described Ira as a "very bright, hard worker" who was well liked by all students and staff members.

Police and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are conducting an investigation into the accident.

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