December 09, 2020
Pouri and aroha as Whakaari eruption remembered
Whakatāne is today marking the first anniversary of the Whakaari-White Island eruption that took 22 lives.
Responsibility for He Rā Whakamaumaharatanga is being shared between Whakatāne District Council, which is holding a public memorial about now at Mataatua Reserve, and Ngāti Awa, which hosts a ceremony at Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae this afternoon for survivors, whānau of those who died and first responders.
Maria Elliott from Tūmeke FM, which is carrying today’s events, says the mood in the town can be described as a mix of pouri and aroha.
She says it has been a year of recovery.
"It's been a year of grief. We've got personal connections to some of the whānau directly affected. Updates have been coming in and where do we place that? What we could only do as members of humanity is tuku aroha. Tuku aroha ki te ao, ki te whenua, ki te rangi, ki te moana and to the whānau," Ms Elliott says.
Whakaari He Rā Whakamaumaharatanga is being streamed on Maori Television.
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