Body found

Police have recovered a body believed to be that of missing Wellington tramper Scott (Brock) Oliver from alongside the Wilkin River in Mt Aspiring National Park west of Makarora.

Mr Oliver (41) was last seen on Sunday, January 4, when he left a family tramping party on a track in the upper reaches of the river to take a shortcut through a gorge.

A search by police and Wanaka LandSAR volunteers tracked Mr Oliver's footprints into the gorge, but could find no signs he had left the gorge.

Late yesterday, Wanaka Police SAR co-ordinator Sergeant Aaron Nicholson said police responded yesterday afternoon to a sighting of Mr Oliver's body.

''A tramper exiting the valley had seen the deceased body lying on the open riverbed, about 30m from the main river.''

The tramper reported the sighting to a Wilkin River jet boat operator who passed the information on to police.

''The body, which is believed to be that of Scott Oliver, was recovered approximately 15km downstream from where he was last seen alive,'' Sgt Nicholson said.

He suspected significant rain last week ''produced enough volume and force in the river to push the deceased from the gorge to where he was found''.

A postmortem was being undertaken in Dunedin Hospital and inquiries were being made by Coroner David Crerar to confirm the identity of the body.

Mr Oliver's family had been informed. They were ''clearly pleased and relieved that Scott has been found'', he said.

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