The unfortunate incident of the death of a man in the Crater Lake at Mt Ruapehu, on Saturday, September 22, has brought grief in the community as the news broke out that the man was of Indian-descent.

A press release from New Zealand Police  have confirmed just now “he was 32-year-old Magesh Jagadeesan of Lower Hutt.”

The Indian Weekender has been told by reliable members of the community that the man was from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and had received New Zealand citizenship only last year. 

Earlier police had reported on Saturday, “a man has died after falling into Crater Lake at Mount Ruapehu.

“Emergency services were flown to the scene via helicopter at around 1.50 p.m.

“The man was recovered from the lake by members of the group he was with before emergency services arrived,” according to a press release of New Zealand police.

An ardent mountaineer

According to Mr Jagadeesan's social media profile, he was an ardent mountaineer who had successfully trekked on many Kiwi-peaks on previous many occasions including Arthur National Park. 

Given his previous trekking experiences, it is highly unlikely to assume that he was a naive-hiker and not prepared for the conditions as many thought. However, nothing can be said with certainty.  

Earlier Stuff reported from the accounts of some hikers who witnessed the body retrieval by the group of people accompanying the deceased that “it was lucky more didn't fall on the mountain's icy landscape.”

Rahui in place

Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas, the company looking after the Ski park acknowledged the incident on social media and placed a rahui in the area.

“It is with sadness that the iwi of Ruapehu: Uenuku, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Rangi, acknowledge the fatal accident where a hiker fell into Te Wai a-moe on Saturday, September 22.

“As a result of this accident, a rahui has been placed on the Te Wai a-moe area and will be lifted at sunrise on Wednesday, September 26,” the Facebook post of Mt Ruapehu page read.

About rahui

A rahui (physical and spiritual protection mechanism) is a tool to manage human activity around a site where there has been a loss of life. It sets a temporary prohibition around the rahui area and limits access for that period. By placing a rahui over the area it:

•        acknowledges the death and is a way to express our sympathy to the whanau of the deceased;

•        ensures that safety mechanisms are in place; and

•        provides time for tapu (sacredness) to dissipate following the death.

This provides time for healing and recovery of the natural elements at the place and people, in particular, the grieving whanau.

To show respect, all climbers, trampers and skiers are asked not to go above the boundaries of the ski areas at Whakapapa, Turoa and Tukino or above a line 2300 metres above sea level on the mountain.

Funeral arrangements in Hamilton

The Indian Weekender has spoken to Vai Ravindran, President Auckland Tamil Association, who confirmed that he is in touch with deceased's brother in Chennai and coordinating for the funeral arrangements. 

"Mr Jagadeesan worked for Wellington-based company Datacom, who have kindly come forward with some financial contribution to make necessary funeral arrangements for the deceased.

"An open viewing of Mr Jagadeesan is on Wednesday, September 26 at 5 p.m. at Seddon Park Funeral Home on 49 Seddon Road, Frankton, Hamilton for the community and friends and a small prayer ceremony is also arranged for the deceased," Mr Ravindran told The Indian Weekender.