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Woman visits father's NZ fire memorial

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/01/2017

Honoka Tsuchida was only a child when her father died in a hut fire on a fishing trip in the then Te Urewera National Park nine years ago.

Katsuya Tsuchida ventured into the wilderness to fish in the Waiau River valley on Christmas Eve with his New Zealand guide Toshiya Babe.

Two days later their bodies were discovered in the burnt remains of a Department of Conservation hut after what was determined to be an accident.

The tragedy was so moving to Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson, the man in charge of the body recovery and investigation, that he arranged a memorial at the site.

"I thought that would have been the end of it," Mr Williams said.

But nine years later he had the chance to meet Mr Tsuchida's daughter and show her the memorial.

"It was a very special moment and I feel privileged to have been there and been able to help this family get more of an understanding of what happened to Katsuya," he said.

Ms Tsuchida said the trip had been amazing for her too.

"It was a precious experience that I could finally visit the place where my father died and meet Mr John Wilson who helped and supported us for a long time," she said.

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