An MP on patrol with police spent almost 40 minutes trying to keep a shot camper alive, then stayed through the night to support the woman's distraught partner.
Louise Upston, National MP for Taupo, was with police in Turangi on Friday night to see at first hand the harm caused by alcohol when they were called to the shooting of Lower Hutt teacher Rosemary Ives, 25, about 11pm.
Ms Ives was standing next to her partner, Adam Hyndman, brushing her teeth at the Kaimanawa campsite south of Turangi when she was killed. A 25-year-old Hamilton hunter has been charged with careless use of a firearm in relation to her death.
Mrs Upston said that, when she arrived with police, they found Mr Hyndman giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while a female camper did chest compressions.
Mrs Upston took over the compressions so the other woman could rest, sharing the work until paramedics arrived about 40 minutes later.
"You don't think, `Will I or won't I?', you just get in there and do what needs to be done," she said. "You become desperate, basically. All of us wanted to do our absolute best to pull [Ms Ives] through. Unfortunately, her injuries were substantial and what we did do was probably never going to be enough."
She kept thinking about how Mr Hyndman must be feeling, staying by his side after Ms Ives was confirmed dead. She remained with him at Taupo police station until 8am.
About 20 years ago she witnessed her mother's death while her brother tried CPR, which helped her relate to Mr Hyndman.
"He was devastated ... they had just gone to clean their teeth. They'd gone a couple of metres into the bush so you wouldn't spit out in the area you are going to be sleeping in."
A service will be held for Ms Ives on Thursday at Rabbit Island in Nelson.
FIREARMS SAFETY RULES
The death highlighted the need for hunters to follow the basic rules of firearms safety and comply with firearms law at all times, the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council said.
All hunters needed not only to know the seven basic firearms safety rules, but to apply each part of them at all times, council firearms and hunter training programme manager Mike Spray said today.
"This regrettable incident could have been avoided by following Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt."
Spotlighting was legal on private land but extra care was required as the field of vision was limited to the beam of the spotlight only and target identification needed to be positively confirmed, Mr Spray said.
"There are very few non-intentional incidents each year in New Zealand which lead to injury or death.
"This is an indication that the most firearms owners act responsibly around firearms. However, on the occasions when firearms users do drop their guard, the consequences can be serious."
All firearms users needed to stay alert at all times when handling firearms and take special care, Mr Spray said.
- with NZPA
- The Dominion Post
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