- Title: 13 parties charged over White Island volcanic eruption face court for first time
- Date: 5th March 2021
- Summary: OFF WHITE ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND (FILE - DECEMBER 12, 2019) (REUTERS) AERIAL VIEW OF SMOKE SPEWING FROM VOLCANO WHAKATANE, NEW ZEALAND (FILE - DECEMBER 12, 2019) (REUTERS) PEOPLE HUGGING SIGN AND FLOWERS AT MEMORIAL ON FENCE
- Embargoed: 19th March 2021 06:41
- Keywords: Auckland New Zealand Whakaari White Island Work Safe court eruption volcano
- Location: AUCKLAND, WHAKATANE, OFF WHITE ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
- City: AUCKLAND, WHAKATANE, OFF WHITE ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
- Country: New Zealand
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA002E2T18W7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: BLURRING ON SHOT NO. 7 COMES FROM SOURCE
The thirteen parties charged by New Zealand's workplace regulator over the deadly White Island volcanic eruption appeared in an Auckland court for the first time on Friday (March 5).
A surprise eruption on the White Island, also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, on December 9, 2019, killed 22 people and injured dozens. There were 47 people on the island, mainly tourists, when the volcano erupted.
Worksafe, New Zealand's primary regulator for workplace related incidents, found that the 13 parties had not met their health and safety obligations in taking the tourists to the White island.
Under the charges filed, ten organisations face a maximum fine of NZ$1.5 million ($1.06 million), while three individuals, in their capacity as directors, could be fined up to $300,000. Some of the parties include White Island Tours, Whakaari Management, GNS Science and The National Emergency Management Agency.
Judge Evangelos Thomas began the COVID-19 restricted hearing in Auckland District Court by acknowledging the victims of the eruption.
Thomas said the next hearing will be held in Whakatane in June.
(Production: James Redmayne)
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