Long search concludes
The bodies of two men who went missing in the Tongariro National Park in early August have been found.
Friends Ha¯ kopa Ngaronoa, 26, and Vincent Taurima, 21, disappeared after they allegedly fled from a police chase on the Desert Road. Police said they found their remains on Saturday.
A car was abandoned on a track by Tree Trunk Gorge Rd, off the Desert Road, mid-afternoon on August 12, police said at the time.
Two days later, police put out a statement saying they had serious concerns for two men in their 20s who were lost in the bush – thought to be the driver and passenger.
What turned into a four-week search through dense scrub was already under way, and eventually involved police, LandSAR, specialist search teams, police national dive squad, dogs, and hundreds of volunteers.
Many of the searchers were volunteers and some travelled from as far as Auckland and Wellington to help.
The men’s wha¯nau was informed that their bodies were found, and police iwi liaison officers offered support, police said.
The bodies were removed from the national park and were to be returned to their families.
The deaths will be referred to the coroner.
Police thanked everyone who assisted with the search.