A memorial near the start of the Cave Creek walk, adorned with carefully chosen stones that people have brought on their return from the creek.
Image: Shellie Evans | ©

Introduction

Today the Department of Conservation will join Tai Poutini Polytechnic to commemorate the lives of those who died at Cave Creek 20 years ago.

On 28 April 1995, 14 people lost their lives when a viewing platform collapsed into a ravine in the Cave Creek area of the South Island's West Coast. Four other students who were on the viewing platform survived the 30 metre fall.

Those who lost their lives were: students Catherine McCarthy, Abram Larmour, De‐Anne Reid, Paul Chisholm, Scott Murray, Alison Blackman, Anne‐Marie Cook, Jody Davis, Peter Shaw, Barry Hobson, Matthew Reed, Kit Pawsey, Evan Stuart; and DOC officer Stephen O'Dea.

DOC Director-General Lou Sanson says, "Our thoughts on this anniversary are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives at Cave Creek, and the survivors.

"20 years on DOC's commitment is to supporting the families, and remembering the lessons we learned from this tragedy.

"The safety of visitors and staff is a primary priority for the Department. We maintain a clear focus on ensuring we never experience another incident like Cave Creek."

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