Boyfriend's cry as young woman shot dead

ROSEMARY IVES: Her boyfriend tried for more than an hour to resuscitate the 25-year-old after she was shot by a hunter.
ROSEMARY IVES: Her boyfriend tried for more than an hour to resuscitate the 25-year-old after she was shot by a hunter.

The partner of Lower Hutt teacher Rosemary Ives was standing beside her when she was shot dead by a hunter.

The couple were brushing their teeth at a bush campsite near Turangi when a hunter mistook Ms Ives, 25, for a target.

The couple were camping next to a group of four trampers from Wellington and four backpackers from the Czech Republic.

One of the Czech women called police after she heard the shot.

"It was loud and noisy," she said last night.

"We didn't know what happened but I was very scared because it was so loud.

"We heard voices. It was the boyfriend. He said something like: 'You don't know what you've done'. It was between him and the shooter."

When Ms Ives was declared dead, her boyfriend stayed at the spot.

"He just sat on the floor. He sat there and there was a lady from police and she cared for him. I can't imagine. It must be awful. Just awful."

The Deerstalkers' Association said the hunter was believed to have been shooting from the road on a moving vehicle, and was illegally spotlighting.

Ms Ives' partner tried desperately to revive her for more than an hour after she was shot in the head on Friday night at the Conservation Department's Kaimanawa campsite.

"He was just not giving up," Youthtown Trust rescue helicopter base manager Hendry de Waal said.

"It was so emotional for everyone there. They were just camping for the night and then this."

Ms Ives, known as Rose, started her first fulltime teaching job this year at the Wa Ora Montessori School in Lower Hutt..

Earlier this month shared her love of camping with pupils on a trip to Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington Harbour.

Ms Ives' family gathered in Nelson last night. Her aunt said they were still reeling from the shock.

Her niece had been a "vibrant, beautiful, caring young woman" who was loved by all those who knew her.

"She loved fun, the outdoors. She worked hard, and had so many plans for the future."

A 25-year-old Hamilton man has been charged with careless use of a firearm and will appear in Taupo District Court next month.

The Deerstalkers' Association president Alec McIver said the hunter who shot Ms Ives was "spotlighting" and shooting on public land.

The "terrible accident" tarnished the reputation of all hunters.

Wa Ora Montessori School was left "devastated" by the tragedy, and principal Jan Gaffney said although Ms Ives' funeral was likely to be in Nelson, the school would hold a memorial for her.

"We have all been absolutely devastated. She was so young and had her whole life in front of her. To have it cut off that way ... I can't begin to express how everyone's feeling."

Ms Ives taught the school's adolescent class of 13 pupils, aged between 12 and 15, and had impressed colleagues with her dedication.

"She put her heart and soul into doing what needed to happen to make the learning experience the best they could have."

With another teacher, Ms Ives spent all day with her class and was a "maths and science expert".

"They thought Rose was amazing. They really loved her. She was such a good role model."

When she qualified as a teacher, Ms Ives did not feel she was old enough to teach secondary pupils, and first worked at the Upper Hutt after-school programme YouthTown before joining Wa Ora Montessori.

The Dominion Post