Sixth day of search for missing Tongariro men identified further areas of interest, police say video

ROBERT STEVEN/STUFF

Hanging from a rope, the NZ Police's national dive team were taken to Tongariro National Park tributaries that cannot be accessed by land to search for two missing men.

Maraea Ngoronoa, mother of lost Palmerston North labourer Hākopa Ngaronoa , is still holding out hope he will be found alive as the sixth day searching draws to a close. 

Hākopa, 26, and his friend Vincent Taumira, 21, have been missing in the Tongariro National Park since Saturday, August 12, when the pair allegedly fled from a police chase on the Desert Rd.

Land Search and Rescue crews and police have been searching dense scrub since Sunday. Members of both mens' families have also joined the search. 

Police dive squad have joined the sixth day of the search for two men missing in Tongariro National Park.
ROBERT STEVEN/STUFF

Police dive squad have joined the sixth day of the search for two men missing in Tongariro National Park.

Inspector Tony Jeurissen said further planning had been carried out on Friday ahead of the continued search over the weekend. 

"Unfortunately they have still not been found, but today's work has identified further areas of interest," Jeurissen said on Friday night. 

The major search operation is set to continue on Satuday morning, with more LandSAR volunteers coming on to help, he said. 

The police dive squad took part in the search for two men in Tongariro National Park.
ROBERT STEVEN/STUFF

The police dive squad took part in the search for two men in Tongariro National Park.

"We all remain determined to bring these two men home to their whanau". 

Maraea said her son was much-loved, and she had been overwhelmed with offers from as far as Australia to help find the men.

"Everyone's wanting to pitch in," she said.  

The rough terrain means the dive squad has to choppered in to search searching the waterways in Tongariro.
ROBERT STEVEN/STUFF

The rough terrain means the dive squad has to choppered in to search searching the waterways in Tongariro.

"That kind of love is overwhelming and it's hard to describe."

Ad Feedback

"Family members are biting at the bit to come help every day, but we have to let Search and Rescue do their job," she said.

The men were last heard from on Sunday, August 13, when one briefly rang police to ask for help. It is believed the cellphone ran out of battery.

The dense terrain of the Tongariro National Park is making the search difficult.
Greenlea Rescue Helicopter

The dense terrain of the Tongariro National Park is making the search difficult.

Earlier, Jeurissen said the search area was narrowed each day, as more items were found by rescue crews. 

"It's not a huge area, but the scrub is thick, dense and uninviting," Jeurissen said.

Kaimanawa Forest Park and the Tongariro National Park are part of the search area. But the "area of interest" is between the Desert Rd and the Tongariro River, near the Pillars of Hercules gorge, with Tree Trunk Gorge Rd at the southern end, he said

On Friday, four members of the police national dive squad were called in. 

LandSAR operations manager Dave Comber said the divers would search the streambeds. 

"A lot of the search teams have not been able get into the streams themselves because there are some quite steep banks," Comber said.

"In this pumice country, a stream tends to cut its way down, so you can actually fall into it and foliage can come over the top and you can't actually see into it from the top," he said.

"So the idea is, these guys with their wetsuits, they can actually get down to the stream itself and look into it.

"That just helps us to identify there's nothing in there and clear them out," he said.

Police have been updating the families on the search at the end of each day. 

Hākopa works as a forklift driver in Palmerston North, Maraea said. 

"He loves working and he loves manual work," she said. "He was baling hay at the age of 16."

Maraea said her son was a "bullheaded, strong minded person" when it came to protecting family and  friends. 

"He has a soft side to him – a nurturing, loving side.

"The friends he has – the gangs and that – they don't know about that side of him," she said.

"He's an awesome son: respectful to his elders, loyal to his friends, loving to his family.

"I live in hope, because that's all I've got left, beside love."

Police Senior Sergeant Tony Jeurissen​ said police will continue to liaise with the whānau of the missing men. The latest information was shared in a meeting in Turangi on Friday morning.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Photo frames illegal dumper

Abercrombie Street homeowners Judy Burton, Bob Burton and Ian Ashurst next to the excavated dirt illegally dumped ...

Man charged over mounds of unwanted building debris that mysteriously appeared on Howick private properties.

Gaping pipeline hole video

Refining NZ believes a digger blade scored the 30cm pipe, scraping away an anti-corrosion layer in an action that ...

New photos reveal extent of pipeline damage as regional council announces investigation.

$50,000 in eight weeks for Otis' cochlear implant

Otis Smith plays happily outside with his Thomas the Tank Engine toy.

As Loud Shirt Day approaches, Stuff chats to a mother and her young son, who was born with a hearing impairment, about their support from the Hearing House.

Garden inspires couple's art

Clivia flowers in their garden inspired Rod Upchurch's first floral piece.

A Kumeu couple will exhibit landscape and floral art pieces in an upcoming exhibition Outside in.

Wellington

Prestigious Hutt home gallery

The former Upper Hutt home of one of New Zealand's most distinctive residential architects, James Chapman-Taylor, is on ...

Celebrated Lower Hutt architect's home back on market.

Man on fire dies

Cordons were set up around Parliament after the incident.

The man who reportedly set himself on fire outside Parliament has died overnight, police say.

Cannabis and guns seized

A rifle and about 100 cannabis plants were seized by police.

Cannabis plants and rifle found at property in small Hawke's Bay settlement.

Car and train collide

The scene of the crash at Ohau, where a motorist died when their car collided with a northbound train.

A car driver died after a crash with a train on State Highway 1, south of Levin.

Canterbury

What's with the giant spray cans?

Some of the cans will be used for workshops and for young street artists to practise.

The 4.5 metre-high cans are part of a new space coming to central Christchurch.

Disappearance baffles

Amber-Lee Cruickshank, pictured age one, went missing on October 17, 1992.

Police travelled to Aussie outback for answers about what happened to toddler Amber-Lee Cruickshank.

Ram raid car theft video

Corrie Dewagt, Panel shop foreman at Andrews & Gilmore Panel & Paint looks down at broken pieces of a gate. A Nissan ...

Thieves smashed way into a panel beater's and took a Nissan Skyline GTR.

Victim forced to tie up family

Police guard Andrew Cameron's house near Hanmer Springs on Tuesday morning.

Kidnapping victim forced to tie up family members while gun pointed at his head.

Waikato

Killer highway's $6m salve

Two people were killed on SH3 between 2005 and 2014.

Rumble strips, side barriers and intersection improvements on the way for SH3.

Footbridge a priority

A footbridge across the Waikato River could connect central Hamilton to Parana Park and Memorial Park. Pictured is an ...

There's a push for more work on plans for a pedestrian bridge to link central Hamilton and Parana Park.

A year's rain in 9 months

Waikato residents have been forced to find shelter where they can over the past nine months (file photo)

Rainfall records tumble as Waikato wades through wettest year ever.

Crash driver suffers critical injuries

Ambulance officers were called to the crash on Highway 22.

A driver is in a critical condition after rolling his car on a highway near Huntly. 

Taranaki

The 'downhill slide'

11092017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/STUFF.  The Ticking Timebomb, a series looking at the rising issues of Alzheimers ...

He's forgotten how to peel potatoes but fears forgetting his children most.

Armed cops in street

Firefighters don hazmat suits at the scene on Turakina St.

Officers who entered a suspected clandestine lab have been put through a decontamination shower.

Home stretch awaits Hareb

Paige Hareb is looking to make her presence felt in her final two events of the year.

She's been in contention all year, now the Kiwi surfer knows it's time to lock in her qualification to the world tour.

Dementia: a love story video

11092017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/STUFF.  The Ticking Timebomb, a series looking at the rising issues of alzheimers ...

Tom Matiaha's 24 years as a soldier could not prepare him for his family's battle against a hidden foe: Alzheimer's disease.

Manawatu

Car and train collide

The scene of the crash at Ohau, where a motorist died when their car collided with a northbound train.

A car driver died after a crash with a train on State Highway 1, south of Levin.

Ambulance at car fire

Emergency services respond to a car on fire at the corner of Napier Rd and Te Matai Rd, north of Palmerston North.

Emergency services are rushing to a car on fire near Palmerston North.

No more snooping

Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen refused to vote on a new email blocking policy.

The Horowhenua District Council is changing the way it screens emails.

83-year-old dies in crash

A car and a truck crashed at an intersection in Levin.

The man died on Monday after his car collided with a truck in Levin.

Nelson

Makos legend back in the fold

Robbie Malneek last played for the Tasman Makos during the 2015 Mitre 10 Cup season.

Robbie Malneek, the only player to reach 100 caps for the Tasman Makos, has been handed an unlikely recall.

Car-free summer

Kerry and Garry Ford of Ford's restaurant and bar in upper Trafalgar Street, which will become a pedestrian zone over ...

The top of Nelson's Trafalgar St is going to be traffic free for four months this summer.

Pensioner housing need

Tasman District Council-owned cottages in Wakefield.

Waiting list for Tasman council cottages outstrips number of units.

New library may cost $3.7m

The Motueka Library has long been earmarked for development.

Proposed new Motueka Library is unlikely to include a service centre.

Marlborough

Environment judge called in

Leachate run-off and ponding from grape marc dump sites in Marlborough. (File pic)

A prominent winemaker and a new company he is linked to - dubbed the "complete solution" to grape marc - are to be dealt with by the Environment Court.

'Stupid thing to do'

Blenheim District Court.

A man has admitted shooting out a window at the health hub in the central business district.

Police called to polling booth

Kaikōura Labour candidate Janette Walker delivering pamphlets at Dillons Point Rd, in Blenheim, earlier this week.

"He wanted my details. I gave him about half of them," says Kaikōura candidate as she refuses to leave.

Leap in rateable values

New capital values across Marlborough show a big increase for Picton properties. (File pic)

Some properties have seen their capital value incease by a whopping 28 per cent.

South Canterbury

Timaru's next tourism attraction?

In May a High Court Judge ruled the Rangatira be sold to pay off more than $170,000 owed to PrimePort.

Fisherman hopes community will save ship with Hollywood connection from the scrap heap.

A toast to the bicycle video

Graeme Simpson is preparing to take a collection of old bikes to Waimate to celebrate 200 years of the bicycle.

Bicycles of all shapes and sizes to be celebrated in 200th anniversary event.

Air plan approved

South Canterbury Regional Air Plan Liaison Committee chairman Mark Rogers with committee members Doug Cleveland, centre, ...

Grey Power president says it was "too much" to expect woodburner rule to be ditched.

Hatchery positive of salmon returns

Phil de Joux watches the salmon enter McKinnon Creek following incubation in July last year.

Volunteers of South Canterbury salmon hatchery hope for a better season.

Otago

Whale sounds wash over Dunedin

Caro McCaw, of Otago Polytechnic, listens to the recorded sounds of whales at an exhibition in Dunedin.

It'll be easy having a whale of time in Dunedin, just don't forget an umbrella.

Six-figure golden handshake

Aurora Energy boss Grady Cameron's exit package means he will make nearly $1 million in a year.

Otago lines company boss's 'excessive' exit package means he'll make nearly $1m this year.

Waterfall search for man

Police are searching for missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe.

Police divers search a Catlins waterfall and river for missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe.

Residents unsatisfied with DQ

Blue Peaks Lodge manager Michael McMillan was appointed to the Destination Queenstown board to represent the ...

Queenstown had a four per cent increase in visitors to about 3.2 million in the 2016/17 year.

Southland

Investigators baffled by child's disappearance

Amber-Lee Cruickshank, pictured age one, went missing on October 17, 1992.

Police travelled to the Australian outback looking for answers about what happened to toddler Amber-Lee Cruickshank 25 years ago.

70 years strong

John and Joan Welsh with their wedding day photo from 1947.

On September 22, John and Joan Welsh celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Trust announces it will seek review

Community Trust of Southland chair Margot Hishon

The Community Trust of Southland will seek a ministerial review into the circumstances surrounding the departure of its former chief executive. 

Bluff signpost: It's a bluff

Scottish tourist Geoff Mumford tries to make sense of Bluff's suspect signpost.

Handy hint: Don't follow the famous signpost's directions to Wellington. 

Ad Feedback