Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa remembers Whakaari victims on Second Anniversary

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa remembers Whakaari victims on Second Anniversary

On the second anniversary of the Whakaari eruption Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa (TRONA) and White Island Tours staff have privately come together to remember the victims, the survivors and everyone who was impacted by the tragedy.

Twenty-two people died following the eruption on December 9, 2019 at 2.11pm. Of the 47 people on the island at the time of the eruption another 22 others suffered life changing injuries.

Among those who lost their lives were White Island Tours guides Hayden Marshall-Inman and Tipene Maangi. Today their colleagues and friends will join together to remember them and celebrate their lives.

Kelsey Waghorn and Jake Millbank were also guiding visitors to the island that day. They survived the eruption and guided many people to safety despite their own serious injuries.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Tumuaki (Chairman) Joe Harawira said:

“We will always remember the people that lost their lives that day and we continue to pray for those that lost loved ones.

“Our thoughts are also with the survivors, here in Aotearoa and abroad and we hope they are healing physically and spiritually. We join with them in their grief.”

For the second consecutive year the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented a large memorial service from taking place. TRONA and White Island Tours staff will gather for a private commemoration to honour Hayden and Tipene. A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm.

For more information please call Bianca Ruakere on 021 453 189

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