Body found in Tongariro search name released
Police released the name of the 54-year-old man who died while hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing earlier this week.
He was Sateesh Babu Halehally-Chikkanna of Bangalore, India.
Mr Halehally-Chikkanna was hiking in a group of four when he went missing on Monday.
His body was located by Police and Land Search and Rescue yesterday.
Taupo Search and Rescue Coordinator Senior Constable Barry Shepherd said yesterday was a tough day for the family, searchers and local iwi.
“We have a very tight-knit search and rescue community here in the central North Island and Mr Halehally-Chikkanna’s death saddens us all personally.
“This is an area that we treasure, it’s a taonga.
We want our visitors to have a good day and make it home safely.
“A karakia, led by Te Ngaehe Wanikau, was a very emotional moment, particularly given it appears this death was preventable.
“There are four key pieces of advice for anyone going hiking or tramping – stay as a group, keep an eye on the weather, be prepared to turn back and wear appropriate clothing.
“These simple steps can save lives and prevent other families from experiencing such loss.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the search and extend my sympathies to Mr Halehally-Chikkanna’s friends and family at this difficult time.”