Search for tramper missing in Tararua Forest Park suspended

By Brittany Keogh

Search and rescue teams are spending the night at Kime Hut before resuming the search for a tramper missing in Tararua Forest Park. Photo / Andrew Bonallack
Search and rescue teams are spending the night at Kime Hut before resuming the search for a tramper missing in Tararua Forest Park. Photo / Andrew Bonallack

Search and rescue teams have suspended their search for the man missing in Tararua Forest Park overnight.

Crew members will be staying the night at Kime Hut and will begin searching again in the morning.

Seven other search and rescue teams will join the search party, bringing the total number of teams looking for the man to 10.

Police have confirmed the missing man lives locally.

The 67-year-old was expected to return to his car from a three-day tramp yesterday afternoon but never arrived.

He parked at Otaki Forks on Tuesday, headed for Kime Hut. His planned route included Renata Ridge and Waiotaru Rd.

However, the man has not contacted anyone since he started his solo tramp and police are now concerned for his safety.

He is believed to well-prepared for a short stay, is fit and experienced.

The temperature at Tararua Forest Park is currently 3 degrees. But factoring in wind chill, temperatures at Kime Hut are expected to fall to -7 degrees tonight. MetService has predicted the area will stay mostly dry, but the odd shower is possible.

Palmerston North police want to hear from anyone who visited the park this week, particularly if they had been near Kime Hut, Elder Hut and Otaki Forks.

Police described the man as Caucasian, tall and of lean build, balding with short grey hair.

Anyone with information can contact police on 06 351 2535

- NZ Herald

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