The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was dispatched by the Taupo Police on the evening of Saturday 22 July to assist with the search for hikers missing on Mt Tongariro.
The group of four, who were making their way to the Oturere Hut became separated in the poor visibility and subsequent darkness. Two of them made it to the hut and the other two lost their way.
Due to the weather conditions on some of the slopes of the mountain, the rescue helicopter was not able to conduct a full search of the area. However they were able to position search teams as high as possible on the mountain, below the cloud base.
The missing party was located about a kilometre from the hut. One person had been affected by the cold and was unable to walk, so was carried to the hut by they rescuers, where they had to stay overnight.
The following morning, the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter returned to the Oturere Hut to retrieve the hikers and the LandSAR and RARO alpine rescue volunteers.