Police release name of tramper whose body was found on West Coast

Ian Michael Harvey was reported missing while walking on Monday.  (File photo)

David Alexander / Stuff

Ian Michael Harvey was reported missing while walking on Monday. (File photo)

Police have released the name of a missing tramper whose body was found a day after he went missing.

It was Ian Michael Harvey, 48, of Greymouth.

Harvey’s body was recovered by a West Coast search and rescue team from the Mount Adams wilderness area south of Harihari on Tuesday morning, a police spokeswoman said.

Harvey did not return from his bum and was reported missing on Monday.

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“Police are investigating the death on behalf of the coroner,” the spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“This is a tragic outcome and the police send their condolences to the whānau of the deceased at this difficult time.”

The Mount Adams Wilderness Area covers more than 46,500 hectares of public conservation land in the Central Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, according to a Department of Conservation brochure.

The area includes some of the most complex highlands in the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, making it a challenging environment for rock climbing and ski touring, the brochure says.

“Parties must negotiate a maze of gorges, icefalls, glaciers and dense subalpine scrub, not to mention changing weather.”

Nathan Watson, chief operating officer of the NZ Mountain Safety Council (NZMSC), said the man’s death was the first trampling fatality this year.

“We send our condolences to [his] family and friends.”

The Adams Wilderness Area was “very remote” with “typical west coast rugged terrain comprised of steep, rugged and challenging environments that require a high-trampling skill set,” Watson said.

Over the past five years, excluding this most recent death, there have been an average of five deaths a year in New Zealand, according to NZMSC data.

There were four in 2017, three in 2018, five in 2019, 11 in 2020 and two in 2021. Of these, four trampling deaths occurred on the West Coast.

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