An extreme water daredevil has gone over the Huka Falls on a bodyboard.
In a video posted on Facebook last night the stuntman, who goes by the handle #DrBubbles, can be seen boarding down the rapids before plunging off the falls in front of stunned tourists.
The video by #BeastMoze has already been viewed more than 85,000 times.
Another one shared by Facebook users last February shows #DrBubbles jumping off a bank into the falls, near Taupo.
Water Safety NZ chief executive Jonty Mills has condemned the actions as reckless and irresponsible.
“From a drowning prevention perspective, which is what we advocate for, it’s clearly irresponsible and dangerous and extremely high risk.
“It’s like playing Russian roulette and ultimately roulette will win in a situation like that.”
Mills said it was a good example of why men make up 85 per cent of all preventable drownings.
“They overestimate their ability and underestimate the risks.”
Facebook comments on the video include one from Des Taurima who said: “I wanna knock him out for being stupid and hug him for being an untouchable legend all at the same time.”
It’s understood #DrBubbles is 32-year-old Hayley Patuwai of Porirua, who was reported missing in 2008 while kayaking from Taitahi Bay Beach in Wellington to Picton.
Patuwai was found when he heard his name on the radio in Timaru.
He reportedly hit rough seas during the crossing and took shelter on an island before making it to Picton and continuing the journey toward Invercargill on bike, to raise money for at-risk youth in Porirua.
The Huka Falls are the largest falls on the Waikato River, where the stream – normally 100m wide – is forced through a 20m wide gorge and over a dramatic 11m drop.
Up to 220,000 litres a second gushes through the gorge and shoots out more than 8m into a pool of water below.
Huka Falls deaths
Since 1980 there have been 5 accidental and recreational deaths at Huka Falls
• 1980: a person fishing at the falls was swept away when control gates opened
• 1992: two people slipped into the falls and drowned in separate accidents
• 1993: a kayaker attempting to go over the falls drowned
• 1995: a scuba diver at the base of falls drowned.