Two bodies recovered on Taranaki maunga

By Te Ao - Māori News

The bodies of the two climbers who died on Taranaki maunga have been recovered.

Richard Phillips and Peter Kirkwood, both 33, reportedly died shortly after reaching the summit on Tuesday night. 

The men's bodies were recovered shortly after 8am this morning with the assistance of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter and Police Search and Rescue and Alpine Cliff Rescue personnel.

Rāhui on Taranaki maunga

The eight iwi of the Taranaki region have placed a rahui on all access routes to the summit of Taranaki maunga following the fatalities of two climbers.

The rāhui will be in place for one week, then all eight iwi of the region (Taranaki iwi, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Maru, Ngāruahine, Ngā Rauru Kiitahi, Ngāti Ruanui) will review the situation.

A rāhui (physical and spiritual protection mechanism) sets a temporary prohibition around the area and limits access for a period of time in order to acknowledge the deaths and to express sympathy to the whānau of the deceased. 

As a sign of respect, all visitors to the maunga are asked to use alternative tracks, and not access the summit during the rāhui.

The two Department of Conservation visitor centres on the maunga are open to share information on the situation with the public.