Press releases, updates and reaction to the deadly volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island on 9 December 2019.
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A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White
Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed...
The minute’s silence will be exactly one week after the eruption started on Monday 9 December. More>>
Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it
will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) recovered today the bodies of six people who tragically died in Monday’s eruption
on Whakaari/White Island and will support efforts to recover the bodies of two others in the hope there is resolution
for those families...
“We cannot downplay the risk involved in this operation and I acknowledge the efforts of all those who placed themselves
potentially in danger to achieve a result for the families and community. More>>
"I can now confirm that we are finalising a plan to recover the bodies from Whakaari / White Island tomorrow morning.
Families will be briefed on the operation at 4.30pm and Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement will speak with media in
At this stage, we can confirm that amongst those currently listed as missing or injured are New Zealanders who were part
of the tour operation, and tourists from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. That is
to the best of our knowledge.
To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your unfathomable grief at this moment in time,
and in your sorrow. Your loved ones stood alongside kiwis who were hosting you here. We grieve with you, and we grieve
with them... More>>
Adventure tourism is a central theme in New Zealand tourism, and by definition, adventure always includes a certain
level of risk. That said, New Zealand itself is also at risk of being seen as a tourism destination where commercial
factors - rather than safety factors - are routinely allowed to determine the point where the boundary line of
acceptable risk is being drawn. More>>
An eruption has occured on Whakaari / White Island in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, sending a huge plume of smoke and ash
into the sky.More>>
While it was initially believed there were approximately 100 people on or near the island at the time of the eruption,
we now believe there were fewer than 50.
Some of those people have been transported to shore, however a number believed to be on the island are currently
unaccounted for. Of those transported to shore, at least one has been critically injured. More>>