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Tararua pair from overseas: police

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/11/2016

Two trampers who died in mysterious circumstances in the Tararuas were from overseas but had been living in New Zealand for some time, police say.

Police are not yet naming the pair, aged 39 and 32, whose bodies were discovered in the forest park north of Wellington on Monday after they failed to return from an overnight tramp on Sunday.

Their bodies have been taken to Palmerston North and post-mortem examinations will be carried out on Wednesday.

"This is a devastating time for the families involved, and we would ask that media respect their privacy at this time," Inspector Donna Howard said in a statement on Tuesday.

Police believe the men had planned to leave Waiohine Gorge campsite on Saturday morning and tramp up to Alpha Hut via the "physically demanding" Neill Ridge and the Dress Circle Track route.

"Indications are that the men did not arrive at Alpha Hut," Insp Howard said.

Both men were found within 1km of the hut.

The coroner's inquiry would determine how the men died, she said.

"Weather conditions were generally good over the weekend, but that will be examined as part of the full investigation as to what happened."

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