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Te Papa has created a memorial to Te Papa's chief executive Seddon Bennington following his death in the Tararua Ranges.

The bodies of Dr Bennington, 61, and family friend Marcella Jackson, 54, were found in the snow shortly before 11am yesterday, four days after they went missing.

A written tribute and condolence book, accompanied by a portrait and flowers, opened on the museum's second floor this afternoon.

Te Papa's communications manager Jane Keig said condolences had been flowing in from around the country and overseas since Dr Bennington's death was confirmed yesterday.

The tribute would be reproduced on Te Papa's blog for people to leave condolences through comments or by emailing condolences@tepapa.govt.nz.

Te Papa's board was convening this afternoon to confirm an acting chief executive, Ms Keig said.

Dr Bennington's family were waiting for all family members to arrive in Wellington before decisions were made about a memorial service, she said.

Dr Bennington and Mrs Jackson had been in the ranges for a weekend tramp to Kime Hut but failed to return as planned on Sunday.

After more than two days of searching their bodies were found about 1km from the hut.

Although the pair were otherwise well-equipped, police said neither had carried a cell phone or locator beacon.

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council executive director Darryl Carpenter today expressed his sadness at Dr Bennington and Mrs Jackson's deaths.

He said there would be a time to reflect on what occurred and what lessons could be learnt from their deaths "in due course".

- NZPA