The search for two trampers nearly a fortnight overdue from their hike in the Nelson bush has had to be suspended for the second day in a row.

Locals Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, both aged 23, entered the Kahurangi National Park on May 9 and have yet to return.

They were due to return on Thursday, May 14.

Police been searching for the pair for a week but, with poor weather setting in at the weekend, their search has had to be postponed today due to large amounts of rainfall in the region making the area unsafe.


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"The extremely hazardous terrain in the search area has seen a large amount of rainfall, which means conditions are still not safe.

"Plans to resume searching are ongoing."

When the search does begin again it will include extra resources including search dogs.

"It is expected that when the search resumes, it will involve specialist trackers, search dogs, and the use of RECCO search radar, once conditions are dry enough."

O'Connor, who worked at Abel Tasman Kayaks, knew the area well and described herself as "passionate about nature and working in the outdoors" on the company's website.

"I'm proud of the fact that I'm doing what I love to do every day."

HAVE YOU SEEN JESS or DION Jess is part of our team, she is a very competent outdoors instructor who we love to bits. ...

Posted by Abel Tasman Kayaks on Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Anyone who has been in the Anatori, Webb, Kokopu, Independent and Fraser river areas since May 8 and may have seen the pair should contact police on 105, quoting event number P042228949.


Police would like to thank everyone involved with the search to date, including LandSAR volunteers and critical support from NZDF, FENZ and DoC.