The wreckage was taken illegally in March by Wairarapa Helicopters following a commissioning by the Sport and Vintage Aviation Society for a new museum being built. After discussions with the families of the pilots who died and were buried nearby, the helicopter company has now agreed to return the wreckage, with an agreement that DOC won’t revoke its permit to operate in the park. It seems there will be no prosecution.
This is good news. The plane wreck has been on the side of Shingle Slip Knob since 1955, clearly visible from one of the most frequented tramps in the Tararuas (The Jumbo/Powell loop). Perhaps it was decided that prosecution of either or both organisations would not accomplish much or might work out worse for everyone. I still have trouble believing that nobody involved could have realised that it was most likely illegal to simply fly into the Tararuas and take things, or that nobody would notice, or that nobody would have a problem with it being done.