Date: 24 October 2018
Paul ‘Hondy’ Hondelink and Scott Theobald, along with pilot Nick Wallis, were on their way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when they died in a helicopter crash on 18 October 2018.
DOC is devastated by this loss.
We have set up an email address if you would like to send a message of condolence.
If you wish to send flowers, please deliver them to the Twizel, Wanaka or Whangarei offices and they will be taken to the families - find office addresses.
About Paul, Scott and Nick
Paul worked for DOC since day one in 1987. He started as a programme manager in the Threats team in Wanaka, and pioneered Judas goat and tahr control work. Paul was a critical part of NZ Police search and rescue, FENZ fire response and a pillar of the Wanaka community. Most recently he had moved to Twizel and was working as a Senior Ranger, Biodiversity.
Scott started with DOC in 1996 and was a world pioneer in the use of dogs to detect predators. He was instrumental in establishing the National Predator Dog programme in 2000, based in Northland. This grew into the Conservation Dogs Programme, which combined Pest Detection Dog and Protected Species programmes. Scott was a Senior Ranger, Biodiversity, based in Twizel over the past three years.
Nick was one of New Zealand’s most skilled helicopter operators for wild animal control and had worked with Paul as his helicopter shooter for over 20 years. He partnered with DOC to develop new ways of aerial wild animal control, be it aerial Pindone work in Mackenzie Basin to Judas goats in the Shotover. He told amazing stories of conservation and why DOC couldn’t do it alone.
We know they were widely admired for their work and dear friends to the many people who knew them.