Talk To Tourists– And Warn Them

Police and DoC want Kiwis to warn  tourists about the weather here — and to tell them that ‘jeans are not acceptable in any hiking situation.’ And to let them know a torch can help save their lives.

Senior Constable Barry Shepherd of Taupo Police encourages all Kiwis to “step up, and help by reaching out and talking to our visitors, to our guests, our customers and people you meet on your travels.

“Intervene. Talk to visitors who are in your shops, petrol stations or hotels.

“Ask them their plans, tell them about the New Zealand weather – what cold really means here, what rain really means here.”

Just over a week since Indian visitor died on the Tongariro Crossing.

Over a week has passed since the tragic death of Sateesh Babu Halehally-Chikkanna of Bangalore, India,on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Department of Conservation Tongariro community relations senior supervisor Stacey Faire says the spiritual rāhui  has been lifted.

But the memory of the search and rescue effort, and then the body recovery, lingers with all those who were involved — LandSAR, Police, Department of Conservation, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts and Hillary Outdoors.

“At the entrance to the track, karakia and waiata shrouded the rescuers, grieving family and friends in a protective blanket of aroha.   However, the sadness of the tragedy has resonated deeply with rescuers and the burden feels heavier as this fatality could have likely been prevented,” she says.

“After such a tragedy we ask what can we do prevent this happening again? People talk about duty of care or more warning signs or gates, but it’s well known that people listen to recommendations from other people.”

Police advice

Senior Constable Shepherd reinforces the message:

“If we all take the time to reach out, tell them at different points in time, at difference places, then maybe safety messages will get through,” he says.

“We have a collective responsibility to help care for our visitors.

“We need our visitors to thrive in our country not just survive.”

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