20 Mar 2009

Name suppression lifted over gorge death

7:36 pm on 20 March 2009

A man charged with manslaughter following the death of a student at Manawatu Gorge can now be named.

Massey University student Catherine Peters died after falling more than 20 metres into a riverbed while bridge swinging on 7 March.

The 18-year-old was from the university's Alpine Club and was taking part in an introductory course at Ballance Bridge at the end of the gorge.

On Friday, name suppression was lifted for Alastair McWhannell, 46, of Palmerston North.

Mr McWhannell is the director of Crags Adventures, the company in charge of the Alpine Club's trip.

A representative for Mr McWhannell, Duncan McCann, says the charge is unfounded and will be vigorously defended.

Police and the Department of Labour are investigating the incident.