Cave Creek award winner falls to his death

Ben Aulakh

Staff and students at Tai Poutini Polytechnic have been mourning the death of former student Ari Kingan in a fall from Mount Aspiring on Sunday night.
Mr Kingan, described as a “standout” student of the outdoor education programme based at the Greymouth campus, died after falling hundreds of metres.
Polytechnic chief executive Allan Sargison said their thoughts and sympathies were with Mr Kingan’s family and friends.
“His loss will be strongly felt at the polytechnic, where Ari has been a standout student of our outdoor education programme.
“Ari was a popular student who was totally committed to his training,” Mr Sargison said.
Mr Kingan was the 2013 recipient of the Cave Creek Student Excellence Award, presented annually to the top outdoor education student based on academic performance.
Mr Sargison said his tutors had described him as “the complete package”, excelling across all aspects of the programme and working well with fellow students and staff.
“Ari had recently been selected to be part of the New Zealand Alpine Team and was involved in the successful summit of Denali Mount McKinley, in Alaska, in May this year.
“He took his training seriously and was an experienced mountaineer.
“Staff and students at Tai Poutini Polytechnic were shocked to learn of his death on Mount Aspiring on Sunday, and he will be greatly missed here on campus and in the field,” Mr Sargison said.
He was originally from Golden Bay and had studied at TPP for two years before he graduated last year.