Hope remains for tramper missing for six days amid wintery blast

The family of a man who's spent the last six days lost in the Tararua Ranges say they're holding out hope he's alive.

That's despite Search and Rescue calling the search for Darren Myers a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

Myers' brother-in-law, Duncan Styles, told Newshub it's been a week from hell for the family.

"It's really tough. My wife was just in buckets of tears last night, it's really, really emotional times."

Myers, a 49-year-old British national, has been in New Zealand for 18 months and was due to finish a five day tramp at Mount Holdsworth last Saturday

He sent a text to his wife on the Thursday when he was at Arete Bivvy, a hut in the Tararua Forest Park, and there's been no contact since.

Styles says Myers is not a risk-taker in the outdoors and has a winter sleeping bag with him, so he was prepared for cold conditions

"He's really concerned about safety and getting things right and making sure he's prepared and has the right gear for the walks that he does."

Sergeant Tony Mattheson from NZ Police told Newshub that even nearly a week on, Myers could have survived.

"If he's managed to get down low and get off those extreme weather conditions, because they are extreme, and he's managed to get down low and get himself into a place of shelter, then survivability is completely on the cards."

On Friday a team of around 30 were searching and have been battling snow, low temperatures and low visibility in the past few days.

Land Search and Rescue's Joe Hansen says his volunteers aren't anywhere near ready to quit.

"Logic prevails that it's not going to end on a happy note.. but I'm still hopeful that we'll find Darren alive."

Styles says the family is incredibly grateful for all the help they've received.

"I'm just totally blown away by the amount of effort that has gone into this"

A huge effort driven by the hope of finding Myers after a nearly a week in the ranges


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