Tragedy hits PM's holiday
Prime Minister Helen Clark has been involved in a dramatic, but failed rescue attempt, after a member of her climbing party, Gottlieb Otto Braun-Elwert, died.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister has confirmed Clark was involved in an incident while on holiday near Lake Tekapo.
Police confirmed that an emergency call was received late this afternoon after her guide and friend Gottlieb Otto Braun-Elwert (aged 59) suffered what is believed to be a heart attack, and subsequently died.
Braun-Elwert was a professional mountain guide with his own recreation business.
Due to atrocious weather conditions a helicopter which was dispatched from Christchurch was unable to reach the location.
Members of the party carried out CPR for a considerable period of time until advised by Ambulance staff that they should desist.
Search and Rescue volunteers along with a police Search and Rescue Squad member are believed to have reached the hut and will begin evacuating the party members shortly.
The spokeswoman said Clark was safe and well but next of kin had yet to be informed of the dead person.