Spotlighting is an activity that is used to control pests on private land, but it is an illegal activity on public estates and roadways. Tragically that law was broken in the North Island and resulted in the shooting fatality of a young school teacher who was camping out in a public camping ground. While brushing her teeth away from her tent a roving, illegal spotlighting group caught her eyes in their light's wash and mistaking her for a deer shot her in the head. Twenty five year old Rosemary Ives died at the scene while her partner, other citizens, and arriving police tried to resucitate her. Responsible hunters and New Zealand in general are appalled that such an event should happen to people going about their recreational business in a public area. The camping area was on a plateau and the spotlighters lower down on a public road. The shot had been taken through tangled undergrowth where visibility and logical thought should have dictated no shot being taken. The fact it occurred on the Friday night of a long public holiday weekend means it was a certainty that campers and walkers would be out in the hills. The man who fired the shot is facing a charge of careless use of a firearm causing death, and more serious charges may follow. Sadly it is the hunting community as a whole who is encountering a lot of the bad press which accompanies negligent firearms actions.
Ms Ives was farewelled at a funeral in Nelson attended by hundreds of mourners.
Her father, Malcolm Ives, spoke first, saying that the manner in which his daughter died should have no part in the celebration of her life. He said her death was "an awful, preventable, wasteful accident".