University of Otago Employee Missing

The search for Health Science Library Team Leader David Palmer was scaled down last week, nine days after Mr Palmer failed to return from a tramp on Saturday May 5. As Critic went to print last Thursday, police said the chances of Mr Palmer’s survival were “very low”.

The 53-year-old, who has type 1 diabetes, was originally reported missing after he failed to return to his vehicle from a three to four hour tramp on the Dingle Burn Track in the Ahuriri Conservation Park.

Constable Nayland Smith of Omarama told the Otago Daily Times that the search was now dependant on the “availability of search and rescue personal” although those involved remained determined to find Mr Palmer in order to give family and friends closure.

At its height, the search involved up to 60 people, as well as dog teams, an RNZAF Iroquois helicopter, seven army personnel and a private helicopter. Constable Smith would be working over the weekend with Omarama Search and Rescue, personnel from Twizel, friends of Mr Palmer and two dog teams to conduct a more extensive search of the area.

University of Otago Librarian Howard Amos told Critic, “David Palmer is well known and respected among staff and his colleagues at the University of Otago. Our thoughts are with his family as they await further news at this time.”
This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2012.
Posted 7:58pm Sunday 20th May 2012 by Claudia Herron.