'Our hearts go out to the families,' says DOC after triple-fatal Wanaka helicopter crash

Two Department of Conservation staff were among the three people killed in the helicopter crash near Wanaka, with the department rallying around the victims' families and colleagues.

The third person killed was understood to be pilot Nick Wallis, according to the NZ Herald. 

Wallis is the brother of Matthew Wallis, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Lake Wanaka three months ago.

Pilot Nick Wallis was one of three people killed. Source: Facebook

The helicopter was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed.

Director General Lou Sanson, who knew the victims, is traveling to Wanaka this afternoon.

The scene of a helicopter crash near Wanaka.
The scene of a helicopter crash near Wanaka. Source: Supplied

"We are still trying to come to terms with this morning’s tragedy. Our hearts go out to the families of the DOC workers involved," he said.

DOC will be liaising closely with the police.

The Conservation Minister described the helicopter crash as “an absolute tragedy”. Source: 1 NEWS

The tahr control operation has been put on hold to focus on the DOC family, the department said.

The pilot was killed as well as two DOC workers on board. Source: 1 NEWS