Remembering Cave Creek

Department of Conservation —  28/04/2015

By Lou Sanson, Director-General

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

Our thoughts on this anniversary are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives at Cave Creek, and the survivors.

Cave Creek memorial. Photo © Shellie Evans.

A memorial at Cave Creek adorned with many carefully chosen stones that people have brought from the creek bed. Photo © Shellie Evans.

20 years on our 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.

Below is a reading from the Book of Remembrance, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the tragedy in 2005.

nikau-palm-cave-creek-book-of-remembranceTihei Mauri Mate

Ngarue ana te whenua, ngaoko ana to moana,
I te hinganga o nga totara whakhae o te wao
a, mowai ana tera I te munga o nga kaka
haetara, nei kapoto ki te po. Waiho ratou kia
tiraha mai, ko tatou ki konei takatu ai ki nga
mahi. Me penei noa ake te whakatau, ko ratou
ki a ratou, ko tatou ki a tatou

The land trembles and the sea stirs when the
sheltering totara of the forest fall;
Then calm returns as the kaka cease their chatter,
for the dead have gone into the night.
Leave them to lie there while we remain here to
continue their work.
They have passed on and we the living, remain.