Monday, 2 March 2015 - 3:16pm |

Canterbury Police SAR recover historic human remains from Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

2 min read

Last week Canterbury Police SAR recovered a second set of human remains from the Tasman Glacier area of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.  This follows the discovery of a set of human remains in mid February 2015.

Canterbury Police Rural Area Commander, Inspector David Gaskin, said “At present there are approximately 70 people reported missing in the years since records began in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park who have not been located.  From time to time human remains are located by members of the public.”

“All human remains recovered by Police are referred to the Coroner who makes a determination as to the identity and, if possible, the cause of death.  Canterbury Police will not speculate as to the identity of either of the victims recovered recently.  The first set of human remains were located on the lower part of the Tasman Glacier with second set recovered from the bottom of the Hochstetter ice fall as it enters the Tasman Glacier.  The two discoveries are from separate incidents and are unrelated.” explained Inspector Gaskin.

Canterbury Police and the Coroner make every effort to make a formal identification of the human remains and employ a variety of techniques including DNA.

“We work closely with the families of those missing and hope one day to give them closure when their loved one is recovered and identified. Canterbury police will always ensure that families of victims found in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park are notified prior to any media releases being made regarding the discovery.  The low snow fall over the winter coupled with the warmer temperatures could explain why remains are being found more often this year” said Inspector Gaskin.

Anyone who sees or finds any human remains when they are tramping or climbing should note down the location and take photographs of the general area.  Canterbury Police SAR urge the public not to disturb the scene or touch any of the items, no matter how curious they may be, as a scene examination will be undertaken by trained officers prior to any recovery operation.


Issued by:  Lisa-Marie Brooks, District Communications Manager, Canterbury Police District.  Mobile:  021 942 404