December 09, 2021
Karakia for Whakaari eruption dead
It’s two years today since Whakaari/ White Island erupted, and a Ngāti Awa community leader says Whakatāne still hasn’t recovered.
Twenty two people died and a number of others were severely burned when they were caught in the eruption.
They included tourists and guides from Ngāti Awa-owned White Island Tours.
Pouroto Ngaropo says the tragedy brought the community together in support of those who had lost loved ones.
“We think of them. We pray for them today. Everyone is doing their individual things. There are different things on Facebook. There’s different things being done with some of the families out there doing prayers, remembering them, releasing flowers, and the schools are doing certain things today as well,” he says.
Ngāti Awa entities are among the 13 organisations and individuals being prosecuted by WorkSafe in connection with the island tours, with the trial not set to start until 2023.