Body recovery at Whakaari/White Island under way today

An attempt will be made to recover all eight bodies from Whakaari/White Island today. There is still seismic activity on the island but it appears to have settled a little. Geonet still say there is a significant chance of another eruption and have declared the area a red zone.

Defence Force helicopters have taken off and headed towards Whakaari this morning.

From the Police last night: Whakaari/White Island recovery operation

Statement from Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement

Tomorrow morning we have a plan, the resources and the capability to the recover the bodies on Whakaari / White Island.

The plan is contingent on a number of risk factors which will be assessed at the time. These factors include the conditions on the island and the weather.

Tomorrow morning New Zealand Defence Force assets and people with specialist capabilities from Defence, Police and other agencies will undertake the operation. Returning the bodies on the island to their loved ones remains our focus.

We have the right people with the right skills and the right equipment.

We will make every effort to recover all of the bodies however our plan is subject to things beyond our control such as the island and the weather.

A lot has to go right for us tomorrow to make this work.

There is no zero risk option in regard to the plan but we have carefully considered it. We don’t expect the risk to change tonight or tomorrow but we have planned for it.

RNZ: Police plan to recover bodies tomorrow morning

Police say the plan to recover the bodies from Whakaari / White Island tomorrow morning will take several hours, and still carries a lot of risk.

Shortly after first light tomorrow, NZ Defence Force assets with specialised equipment will go on to the island and make every effort to recover the bodies, Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said.

Police have not yet returned to the island to retrieve any bodies there as it has been deemed too dangerous.

At the same time, the risks have increased, with GNS Science late morning raising its forecast likelihood of a major eruption from 40-50 percent, to 50-60 percent in the next 24 hours.

Clement told media in Whakatāne this evening that it was still a risky operation and police had to be very cautious.

He said he expected the mission it to take several hours, “the balance of the morning” and police did not expect anything to change overnight in terms of risk.

“The risk has not gone,” he said.

He said GNS scientists would be part of the team, not going on to the island but going out on the HMNZS Wellington ship to provide analysis and support.

As well as the ship, there would be helicopters involved and specialist staff. He said the technical decisions on the ground would belong to the New Zealand Defence Force, and their plans had been designed to change depending on circumstances.

The plan is for the remains to be helicoptered onto the navy ship Wellington, which is waiting close by the island, and shipped back to Auckland.

Geonet (5:00 pm Thursday): Whakaari/White Island eruption: Update #7

Volcanic tremor remains high, however no further eruptions have occurred since Monday 9 December. There is a medium likelihood (50-60%) of future eruptive activity in the next 24 hours. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2.

Since the eruption on Monday, there has been no further eruptive activity. In the last few hours, volcanic tremor has decreased but it is still very high compared to normal levels. Vigorous steam and mud bursts continue from the active vent area.

The combined interpretation of our data is that magma is degassing at shallow depths and the situation remains highly volatile.

Another gas flight was completed today, and the data is currently being analysed to support our ongoing understanding of the volcano.

There is still a medium likelihood (50-60%) of eruptive activity in the next 24 hours. We have updated the eruption probability table.

Volcanic tremor at Whakaari/White Island since 12 November 2019:

So it is at it’s most active in the last 12 months and is significantly more active than leading up to Monday’s eruption.

From a thread by @NandorTanczos on the delay in recovering the bodies on Whakaari from Phil Van Dusschoten, Diveworks Charters, Whakatāne, 12/12/19:

This morning I attended a meeting with Commercial boat operators, other town reps and the Police.

Several high ranking officers from Auckland, A member of the Disaster Victim Identification squad and a member of the Deodar Police launch crew. Discussion revolved around the seemingly unnecessary delay in recovering the deceased.

The best information came from the DVI member.

Key points

  1. The Island is still in a potentially sudden explosive state. A White Island Tours skipper said that this eruption was like a bomb going off with shrapnel going off and only about 3 seconds from seeing the first unusual puff of steam to encountering the full blast.
  2. A thick layer of ash has changed the landscape, covered the tracks etc. and it is this layer of ash that contains the toxic and noxious gases that is releasing more so when disturbed. This is the problem gas and not that being visibly emitted from the crater and surrounds.
  3. He further advised that attempts to mitigate the gas using masks and standard breathing apparatus equipment were unsuccessful and highly limited. We were told that specialist suits and re-breather equipment was on it way as we spoke.
  4. Victim identification. The want for rapid identification allowing sooner release of bodies is paramount therefore scene examination rather than just grabbing the bodies was desirable. Bits of clothing and other means of identification on or near bodies being one of the means.

Secondary was the preservation of fingerprints with those easily being lost in this type of disaster. Other means of identification, teeth and DNA would take much longer. That is why after so many days a proper recovery is desired.

I made the following comments:

  1. The lack of information coming to the public was unfair leading to mis- information and speculation. That the information just given to us by the head of DVI should be release asap to give the public a little more understanding. They agreed.
  2. Have you actually located by drone or other method the location of each body?
    Answer: we have located 6 in situ. and we have seen one in the water which we could not recover due to sea conditions. Police and Navy divers are on their way. So one, possibly more unaccounted for.
  3. Once recovered can you assure us that the bodies will be returned via Whakatane and not just whisked off by helicopter or other to another destination . I feel the town needs this first for some sort of closure.
    Answer: If possible we will return the bodies to Whakatane
  4. When all the bodies on the Island are recovered how much longer will the 5 mile exclusion zone stay in place.
    Answer: From the Harbourmaster.. Unknown.

I don’t  see why the bodies should go to Whakatane first. What for? The priority should be on victim identification and autopsies, and Whakatane isn’t likely to be set up for that. If recovered bodies are taken to the Wellington (navy ship) then logistically it would probably be difficult to take them to Whakatane.

POLICE UPDATE – Whakaari / White Island body recovery

Statement attributable to Deputy Commissioner John Tims, National Operations Commander

This morning a blessing was held at sea with representatives of the families of the victims of the Whakaari / White Island volcanic eruption.

The family representatives are returning to the mainland and the operation to recover the eight bodies on the island has commenced.

The weather is overcast (so shore photos of Whakaari don’t show the level of emissions) and calm.

It is a Defence Force operation with Defence Force staff only going on to the island.


It has been reported that the recovery is well under way.

From RNZ Live:

Mark Inman, the brother of tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman spoke with media earlier this morning.

He said the families are just appreciative that something is really happening now.

“It’s a credit to those three key people for me – who were Mike, Anaru and William – who came down to a personal level and listened to the families and listened to their wants and needs and saw it from a human side of things.

“It’s a credit to Ngāti Awa as well for giving us the time and opportunities to take the families out to the island and have some closure. As a cultural thing, that’s amazing. As a nation we’re blessed. The Australians on the boat with us, they felt it.

They were inclusive, it was just incredible, proud to be a Kiwi. Obviously there was a lot of emotion. It was a really spiritual, fulfilling morning. It was one of those moments that you’re proud to be a New Zealander, proud to be amongst the Māori culture, and credit to Ngāti Awa for providing that opportunity to the families”

When talking of the families being welcomed back to shore he said, “It’s the New Zeland way and it’s just magic, truly special.”

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71 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  13th December 2019

    From the chart it seems the time when the police stopped the helicopters going back to get the bodies was the safest time to do so.

    Reply
    • Easy to say that in retrospect, but they weren’t prepared to do it then. They now have suitable protective equipment to reduce the risks, as well as some sort of a plan.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  13th December 2019

        The helicopter pilots had just been there and had all the gear they needed.

        Reply
        • The priority then was on dealing with the injured, who were helicoptered to hospitals around the country.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  13th December 2019

            Fair enough if true but I suspect it isn’t. I think they had a fleet of St Johns rescue helicopters for that.

            Reply
            • There were about 40 injured people to deal with.

              It wasn’t just uplifting bodies from the island that would have been required, they would then have needed to be dealt with. Priority was on treating, moving and identifying badly injured survivors.

              And if something had gone wrong with recovery, as was possible (it’s impossible to know how recovery would have panned out) that would have impacted significantly on dealing with the survivors being attended to.

              There was also an issue of potential affects of more exposure to toxic ash and gas without adequate protection.

              If the bodies are successfully recovered today then grizzles from distant non-experts will hopefully subside.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  13th December 2019

              The helicopter pilots grizzling were not distant non experts.

              Those are in Wellington whose forecasts of eruption probability have now proved wrong over four successive days at a 95% confidence level.

            • “helicopter pilots grizzling were not distant non experts.”

              They were expert pilots and tour guides perhaps.

              They were non-experts on volcanology and on body recovery from high risk and toxic environments.

              Priority was rightly put on dealing with the survivors.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  13th December 2019

              It’s just stupid to say priority has to be exclusive.

            • Duker

               /  13th December 2019

              PG is right , once they were back with the injured everything changed. The focus would then be on transporting those people from Whakatane hospital to other hospitals. There are specialist medical evacuation choppers, but some ‘walking wounded’ could be carried in a standard chopper because of the very large numbers and the local hospital ED had only 2 doctors and 6 nurses and still have their normal work.
              As I see it none of the ‘tourist’ helicopter could carry dead bodies without modification. It would have to be boat pickup from the shore.
              As well , as noted previously ,the radios on island cant reach Whakatane airport and need another plane in the air to relay messages.

  2. Duker

     /  13th December 2019

    Rescuing people who were alive was rightly a high risk but high return occasion . When those left it was only the dead who were left behind.
    Thats a whole new outlook to go and risk more lives in order to get dead people back.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  13th December 2019

      Yes. I’m glad NZDF is making the operational calls on site. This looks to be a well-planned recovery operation, with good contingency planning & at least some back up options if things go pear-shaped. I wish everybody involved alll the very best of luck & have my fingers crossed that they can find & bring all the dead back to land, & that Whakaari lets them do it safely.

      Reply
  3. duperez

     /  13th December 2019

    It is fortunate for most of us that we have no family members dead, missing or injured. It is fortunate for most of us that we do not have the terrible task of recovering bodies or dealing with the most harrowing stuff which needs to be done. Or being involved with any critical decision making around the tragedy. Or have family in those situations.

    It is fortunate for most of us that we are removed from the vicinity and region of the events and being able to not be immersed in the tragedy.

    From my safe distance on a sunny day in rural New Zealand I feel for all those accidentally or necessarily involved and can only imagine what it is like for them. And realise for many of them these are the moments of their lives.

    I’m not going to start saying or conjecturing or criticising or pontificating about who should be doing what, or how, or when. Kia kaha and aroha to those for whom this is real.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  13th December 2019

      Well, you make a fair point. We are all keyboard warriors. Even the mainstream media.

      But here’s the rub. We aren’t learning (?) from previous disasters. You can see all the hallmarks of Pike River in this disaster. It’s interesting overseas media have cottoned
      to this weakness straight away. Sometimes fresh eyes are needed to see faults.

      It boils down to two things, maybe three…. we have trained our bureaucracy to be risk adverse. Leadership fears their own government and social media.

      Education is a biggy. As a new generation of mollycoddled folk who have never climbed a tree, shot a slug gun or bashed it out behind the bike shed take charge, the emotional intensity of a disaster situation, the need for on the spot decision making and action, becomes too much and they start to flounder. As anyone knows, who have been in such situations, the longer the korero lasts.. the more chance of violent disagreement regarding the way forward, and the less action eventually taking place.

      PC/ Cultural Correctness: MAY be a problem in some situations – in a variety of ways.

      For example. Why did this recovery operation start at dawn and not maybe 7 am?

      Reply
        • Gezza

           /  13th December 2019

          It’s good to see that the locals now understand why they can’t go there & now support the NZDF operation:

          “Whakatāne charter fishermen anxiously waiting for eight bodies to be recovered from Whakaari/White Island have been dissuaded from taking matters into their own hands.

          They were warned by police at a private briefing that a single breath of the toxic gases on the island could be lethal and any attempt to retrieve the bodies themselves could harm formal identification

          Mick Brown, the owner operator of Club Talk Charters and friend of tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, whose body is believed to be on the island, said in the briefing that police clearly spelt out the nature of the toxic environment on the island.

          “They’re saying now that the island is that gassy that you could have one breath and it could either kill you or wreck your body system forever, so we’ve just got to wait and pray that they get them off with all the decent breathing apparatus.”

          Brown said they were warned by a forensics expert that moving the bodies incorrectly could disturb vital identifying features such as fingerprints.

          He said there had been a mood at the waterfront to retrieve their own people.

          “All the boys on the wharves and all the dudes who have White Island as our backyard were all eager to get out there. The helicopter boys too, but we’ve found out it’s just too dangerous for any of us to get out there so we’ve just got to let them do it their way and hopefully they get them off.”

          Brown said fishermen had been told the HMS Wellington would bring the bodies to Whakatāne and they would be given a heads up so they could give it free passage as a mark of respect.

          Cascade Charters owner Terry Robinson runs three boats out of Whakatāne. He also knew Marshall-Inman and was at the briefing too.

          He said police could have been more upfront about the dangers earlier. “It would have been nice for them to let the public know so they understand and it actually opens your eyes as to why they are not out there, because of the gas levels and having the right equipment to spend the time they need on the island.

          “Basically their breathing apparatus and stuff are not up to scratch for the levels of gas and the amount of time they need on the island to get the people off you know.

          “So they’ve got new equipment which will give them that time and they just need their little window, which they’ll do when it opens up for them.””

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  13th December 2019

            ”They were warned by police at a private briefing that a single breath of the toxic gases on the island could be lethal and any attempt to retrieve the bodies themselves could harm formal identification.”

            I would take issue with that IN SOME REGARDS.

            For those who want to have a think about things..start with this:

            ”Any attempt to retrieve the bodies themselves could harm formal identification.”

            However, I’m not going to debate the issue. It’ll just attract nastiness. And it doesn’t matter what my opinion is or isn’t.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              Good idea. Your explanation may possibly involve some questionable lateral thinking & it MIGHT be best not to even attempt one.

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              A prattish reply…and a case in point.

          • Gezza

             /  13th December 2019

            What do you expect? You say something that appears to imply some kind of conspiracy or lying by the authorities & then duck out of explaining exactly what you mean by attempting to infer that not understanding your odd vagueness about it implies an inability to join so far non-existent dots. Laughable.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              I implied nothing. How people interpret things is up to them. And I gave a reason why I won’t be debating this issue. You proved my point. Quite simple if you ask me.

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              On second thoughts I will indulge, Gezza. ***Please note that link has images of burnt dead victims.***

              Quote from link :

              ”Primarily, the forensic team starts by collecting relevant information during the removal of corpses, such as the position of the body in the fire debris (Fig. 1), its temperature and its carbonisation degree.”’

              Given our situation, we could(?) bypass much of that. That would just leave a few things for a lay rescuer to do:

              1- Photograph – actual, and relevant, to surroundings of body
              2- Personal items – phones, bags etc near and under body, no matter how burnt.
              3- Quick sieve and bag of surrounding ash.

              4- Bagging of body at actual point of death.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6206378/

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              Given our situation, we could(?) bypass much of that. That would just leave a few things for a lay rescuer to do:

              1- Photograph – actual, and relevant, to surroundings of body
              2- Personal items – phones, bags etc near and under body, no matter how burnt.
              3- Quick sieve and bag of surrounding ash.

              4- Bagging of body at actual point of death.

              Firstly, untrained, unsuitably equipped amateur recoverers could be asphyiated & badly acid-burned (externally & internally) themselves in minutes by what is being said to be the ground level noxious gases now continously present on the island.

              Secondly, once they are in that state your points 1-4 are worthless to them & us. They’d then be now part of a bigger problem than a solution.

              Thirdly, the operation by NZDF staff who were suitably equipped (probably hazchem outfits & DF specialist rebreather equipment) are reported to have found the job harder going than expected.

              Fourthly, they are most likely to have trained intensively to do this work as a disciplined team & to have been instructed on how to bag up bodies in the dreadful condition these are likely to be in without accidentally detaching bits & pieces of them.

              In summary, a job best done most efficiently & most effectively by a specially trained & equipped team, not some plonker googling bits & pieces on the internet & concluding that he knows all about it & could just go and do it.

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              ”Firstly, untrained, unsuitably equipped amateur recoverers could be asphyiated & badly acid-burned (externally & internally) themselves in minutes by what is being said to be the ground level noxious gases now continously present on the island.”

              I know that. I was concentrating on retrieval. I believe lay people would have substitute equipment that may be able to handle gas. I would need to check tolerances and viability etc.

              ”In summary, a job best done most efficiently & most effectively by a specially trained & equipped team, not some plonker googling bits & pieces on the internet & concluding that he knows all about it & could just go and do it.”

              That should be obvious.

              But you miss the point by a mile. The point being, we should always question the experts, because the experts have proven to be plonkers in the past – FACT.

              I came from the view point of: What if I was called out to back up what I said? What if locals wanted to have a go at an illegal rescue? What could they do to help save forensic evidence?

              You just come along. Basically accuse me of bs..not that you have given the issue much consideration, then spin it like I’m a wannabe expert in waiting. Case close. Let’s move on. That’s what’s laughable.

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              But you miss the point by a mile. The point being, we should always question the experts, because the experts have proven to be plonkers in the past – FACT.

              We can. But we’re not always in possession of all the relevant information so should be wary of armchair experts.

              I came from the view point of: What if I was called out to back up what I said? What if locals wanted to have a go at an illegal rescue? What could they do to help save forensic evidence? You just come along. Basically accuse me of bs..not that you have given the issue much consideration, then spin it like I’m a wannabe expert in waiting. Case close. Let’s move on. That’s what’s laughable.

              I didn’t do that. I commented on your points with a perfectly rational analysis. Your response?

              ”In summary, a job best done most efficiently & most effectively by a specially trained & equipped team, not some plonker googling bits & pieces on the internet & concluding that he knows all about it & could just go and do it.”

              That should be obvious.

              Case closed.

      • Gezza

         /  13th December 2019

        Why does the dawn start time even matter? The sooner they began, the better. They’ve made it clear the plan is to get the operation completed & get everyone involved out of the immediate danger zone as soon and as early in the day as practicable. The operation won’t end when they get the bodies out.

        TVNZ live updates report the 8 member team is finding it tuff going, they have to be exceptionally careful because of the toxicity of the ground hugging gases there.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  13th December 2019

          Why does the dawn start time even matter? Because it may have been based on cultural protocols and not procedural requirements for body retrieval. I DON’T KNOW if that was the case, but many Maori events start a dawn with karakia and blessings.

          An example ( one of many):

          https://www.piha.org.nz/2018/06/matariki-dawn-karakia-arataki-sunrise-30th-june/

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  13th December 2019

            That is quite likely, in my view. But my question remains, why should that matter? They will have been on the scene, ready to go, at first light, as soon as there was sufficient light to start work.

            Most of us routinely leave for work at – or before – dawn in the Winter months.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              ”That is quite likely, in my view. But my question remains, why should that matter? ”

              It matters because the situation may arise when culture is put above what should take place in a disaster situation. A group of emotional angry Maori is a very very bad situation to control, even for experienced people, both Maori and European.

              A person in control may be bullied into a course of action that is not appropriate. In fact so bad are these situations, even police fear to intervene. The case of the Tuhoe body snatchers is a case in point.
              A while back a Tuhoe member gave me their side of the story, and said any attempt at retrieval would result in death Now imagine a young operations manager faced with similar a situation.

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              I think you’ve gone into Maori-bashing overdrive & it’s making you say rather bizarre things, given we are talking about the recovery of bodies from Whakaari.

              PC/ Cultural Correctness: MAY be a problem in some situations – in a variety of ways.
              For example. Why did this recovery operation start at dawn and not maybe 7 am?

              We’ve covered this. It clearly hasn’t been any kind of problem, & in fact may well have been operationally advantageous.

              It matters because a situation may arise when culture is put above what should take place in a disaster situation. A group of emotional angry Maori is a very very bad situation to control, even for experienced people, both Maori and European.

              Any group of emotional angry people can be very difficult to control. Don’t you follow the news? Remember the ’81 Springbok Tour? Look at the yellow vest protestors in France? What about the tossers who climbed on top of trains in London & got smacked up by angry commuters? The hard core molotov cocktail-throwing vandals among the Hong Kong protestors?

              A person in control may be bullied into a course of action that is not appropriate. In fact so bad are these situations, even police fear to intervene. The case of the Tuhoe body snatchers is a case in point. A while back a Tuhoe member gave me their side of the story, and said any attempt at retrieval would result in death Now imagine a young operations manager faced with similar a situation.

              The body’s already bloody dead! Why didn’t you just point that out?

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              ”I think you’ve gone into Maori-bashing overdrive & it’s making you say rather bizarre things, given we are talking about the recovery of bodies from Whakaari.”

              You are an expert at muddying the waters when looking for a counter argument.

              Maori bashing.. bizarre things..overdrive. All power words that sway the weak and gullible ( one of which should turn up soon)

              Obviously we had moved on from Whakaari , because sanity prevailed and an operation was in progress.

              What about the next situations. My comments are germane to other situations. You do realise that, don’t you?

              ”Any group of emotional angry people can be very difficult to control. Don’t you follow the news? Remember the ’81 Springbok Tour? Look at the yellow vest protestors in France? What about the tossers who climbed on top of trains in London & got smacked up by angry commuters? The hard core molotov cocktail-throwing vandals among the Hong Kong protestors”

              That’s a red herring. We are talking about a circumscribed disaster, an initial limited number of responders, confusion , emotions and an immediate cultural element brought to the scene if Maori are involved.

              ”The body’s already bloody dead! Why didn’t you just point that out?”

              You will need to expand on that

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              Obviously we had moved on from Whakaari , because sanity prevailed and an operation was in progress. What about the next situations. My comments are germane to other situations. You do realise that, don’t you?

              We’re commenting in a post on Whakaari & the recovery operation. Nobody else has moved on from that into a generalised attack on Maori cultural practices except you. Exploiting any and every opportunity to do so, as usual. Get a fugging grip. There has been nothing to suggest Maori have in any way compromised the recovery operation or the initial responses to the disaster. If anybody did, it was Pakehas. And it’s looking a lot more like there was sound reason to wait for the right time & equipment to remove the dead, given that the volcano’s noxious chemistry at ground level appears to have changed.

              ”Any group of emotional angry people can be very difficult to control. Don’t you follow the news? Remember the ’81 Springbok Tour? Look at the yellow vest protestors in France? What about the tossers who climbed on top of trains in London & got smacked up by angry commuters? The hard core molotov cocktail-throwing vandals among the Hong Kong protestors”

              That’s a red herring. We are talking about a circumscribed disaster, an initial limited number of responders, confusion , emotions and an immediate cultural element brought to the scene if Maori are involved.

              I’ve seen no sign of Maori culture having had any negative impact on this disaster. It has been working hand in glove quite successfully with the recovery operation & did not stop the brave chopper pilots from trying to bring back any whanau still alive.

              ”The body’s already bloody dead! Why didn’t you just point that out?”

              You will need to expand on that.

              Sure: The case of the Tuhoe body snatchers is a case in point. A while back a Tuhoe member gave me their side of the story, and said any attempt at retrieval would result in death.

              Might pay first for you to expand on that. This story needs further development, due to the ambiguity evident.

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              Do you think it may be better if you don’t reply to me because I seem to rattle your cage. I don’t do that on purpose. I write what I think. And you don’t like what I think..or write. That of course is your right.

              But may I remind you…you have stated I’m just a fill-in for a bit of fun when Alan and other posters who you prefer to have considered debates with aren’t around.

              You don’t seem to be having fun?

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              Do you think it may be better if you don’t reply to me because I seem to rattle your cage. I don’t do that on purpose. I write what I think. And you don’t like what I think..or write. That of course is your right.

              But may I remind you…you have stated I’m just a fill-in for a bit of fun when Alan and other posters who you prefer to have considered debates with aren’t around.

              You don’t seem to be having fun?

              😂 Are you kidding me? I have more fun commenting on some of your contributions than anybody’s. 😀

              You’re a known quantity. If there’s any opportunity to have a go at bashing Maori you’re into it. What I find even more amusing is you’re so dedicated to doing it, you can even create opportunities to bash Maori & their culture when there’s not even a connection anyone else can see.

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              Very interesting. Suddenly we are all smiles. Nary a care in the world.🤔

              ”You’re a known quantity.”

              To a certain degree you are right. The three Ms are my bread and butter: Maori, Middleclass and Muslims.

              However, I consider that a public service to educate people about those three because the dearth of understanding shown by many poster on this
              blog is appalling.

              But that’s my beaten path. You can have your fun with that.

              My fun starts off the beaten path. My, does that confuse and upset people .Concepts and knowledge they have no understanding of. Floundering
              for replies. Making up bs. Truly..you don’t think I post for my health, do you?

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              Plus, your not inconsiderable ego gets a considerable workout at no cost here, wouldn’t you say?

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              Let’s not project.

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              Says the dude trying to mind read.

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              No..influence.

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              I’m not surprised. Never mind. You’ve got somewhere to complain about that here …

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              Labour aren’t finding it funny. Next year will be devastating for them. That’s were my influence is going … definitely not to two people on a blog.

            • Corky

               /  13th December 2019

              Where*

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              😳

              Why? Labour seem perfectly capable of cocking things up on their own without needing your influence

        • bjoneskiwi

           /  13th December 2019

          I guess its a dawn as some light is better than trying to do it in the dark and the earlier they start the more likely they are to get finished before they get heat exhaustion from trying to do it it the protective suits etc in the midday sun.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  13th December 2019

            I thought that might have something to do with it; it’ll be bad enough without them sweltering in the heat.

            Corky claims that Muslims, Maoris and (the) middle classes are his ‘bread and butter’; this means that they are the way he makes a living. Someone’s bread and butter is their livelihood. How does someone make a living from abusing three groups of people ? Who’d pay him to do so ?

            Reply
  4. Added to the post but worth repeating here, from RNZ Live:

    Mark Inman, the brother of tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman spoke with media earlier this morning.

    He said the families are just appreciative that something is really happening now.

    “It’s a credit to those three key people for me – who were Mike, Anaru and William – who came down to a personal level and listened to the families and listened to their wants and needs and saw it from a human side of things.

    “It’s a credit to Ngāti Awa as well for giving us the time and opportunities to take the families out to the island and have some closure. As a cultural thing, that’s amazing. As a nation we’re blessed. The Australians on the boat with us, they felt it.

    They were inclusive, it was just incredible, proud to be a Kiwi. Obviously there was a lot of emotion. It was a really spiritual, fulfilling morning. It was one of those moments that you’re proud to be a New Zealander, proud to be amongst the Māori culture, and credit to Ngāti Awa for providing that opportunity to the families”

    When talking of the families being welcomed back to shore he said, “It’s the New Zeland way and it’s just magic, truly special.”

    It has been a tough time for families. Good to see some positives in how things are being dealt with.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  13th December 2019

      Yes. There needs to be a focus on the families of those killed & injured at the moment.

      The recriminations will follow as more information comes out from volcanologists & it really hits home with everyone that allowing thousands of paying tourists to visit the island was always a disaster waiting to happen.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  13th December 2019

        This is hardly the meanspirited, obstructive behaviour that Corky imagines the uncontrollable, angry Maori locals are likely to display.

        Reply
  5. Reply
    • Gezza

       /  13th December 2019

      I’m sad they haven’t been able to find the body seen yesterday in the water & nor the 8th victim. I’m hoping they find both. It will be agony meantime for their loved ones.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  13th December 2019

        TVNZ

        “12.17pm: Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement says it was emotional for the families who went close to the island this morning, as part of a blessing on the sea.
        “I think people got a great sense of fulfilment, able to grieve close to their whanau,” he told 1 NEWS.

        Many of the victims are Australians and other tourists.
        “I think for those who don’t come from this place, they saw something of the New Zealand culture and understand the way that we are,” Mr Clement says.

        “I think that it was a fantastic opportunity for everybody so, it’s as I said very deeply emotional for everybody involved, including the police staff who were on the boat.”

        He says conditions on the island are manageable, although not perfect.

        11.54am: Families are gathered at Whakatāne’s Te Mānuka Tūtahi marae as they wait for more news.

        There were sighs of relief when they were told six bodies had been recovered, Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha told RNZ.

        The planning team are working through the process of recovering the two remaining bodies, he says.

        Unless there’s been a comms glitch – it’s good to see they still haven’t given up.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  13th December 2019

          TVNZ
          “12.26pm: Deputy Commissioner John Tims says the recovery team are safe and well on the HMNZS Wellington, as the six recovered bodies return to mainland before being transferred to hospital. Two more bodies remain on the island, but police had earlier said there would be “limited opportunity” to search for them.
          “I would like to acknowledge the recovery team for their efforts and the bravery they have shown today.
          “I would also like to acknowledge all the agencies involved in the recovery operation and Police and New Zealand Defence Force staff for their dedication and commitment to our response over the last five days.
          “To the families and the Whakatane community I understand this has been a tragic and harrowing time and our thoughts and prayers are with you all.”
          The statement did not provide an update on the two missing bodies.”

          Bugger. The two Deputy Police Commissioners seem to be getting out of sync. Unless reporters are misinterpreting them.

          Why have we apparently got 3 Deputy Police Commissioners on the spot all commenting, & the situation now getting a bit confusing about what’s happening re the missing two bodies?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  13th December 2019

            Stuff.co:

            During a press conference at 1.30pm, Police commissioner Mike Bush said they would do aerial searches of the island on Friday afternoon to try and locate those missing two bodies.

            A dive team had also been deployed as one body was sighted in the water on Tuesday. They had made early attempts to recover it, but weather conditions prevented it.

            He said it was not clear where the last remaining body was.

            “We do believe that at least one of them is in the water and the other one we are unsure, so that only leaves two possibilities.”

            That last comment’s a bit up in the air. What are the two possibilities? It was in the water but a shark got it? It’s in the water, drifting in the sea somewhere? It was on the island but the poor soul was obliterated by the blast? It’s buried under ash?

            Mind you, the reporting on briefings has been pretty scrappy at times.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              Mike Bush’s comment was reported more fully on 1News at 6. He simply meant if the missing body is not on the island it’ll be in the water & divers are doing underwater surveys.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  13th December 2019

        Dickens said in Dombey and Son that Captain Cuttle, ‘like most of us, little knew how much hope has survived under discouragement* until he heard its death knell.’ I think that those were his words. He was right. One thinks that one’s prepared for the worst…until it happens/

        * this had a stronger meaning then than it does now, especially in this sort of context; a young man missing at sea

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  13th December 2019

          Nice to see that the PDTs are so compassionate towards the families of the victims…no time for petty behaviour towards someone on YNZ for the sake of it….

          Reply
  6. lurcher1948

     /  13th December 2019

    PG i feel im not as stupid as your usual rightwing posters, so in October 1971,Pink Floyd, the GREATEST BAND EVER played in the Roman Amphitheatre in POMPEI destroyed in a VOLCANIC ERUPTION by Mount Vesuvius 10000s died, the city was buried,IT WAS HELL IN REAL TIME, PEOPLE go back after eruptions,like to White Island, and people die drawn to what gives life

    For the dead on White Island RIP, i walked where you died,KAMA,you will be reborn

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th December 2019

      Nice post, Lurch. Many tens of thousands previously walked where fifty were so unlucky. We are made to challenge our fate, not to be limited by it. Long may it remain so.

      Reply
  7. Corky

     /  13th December 2019

    Just saw One News. Bomb disposal squad members were used in the rescue. They aren’t experts in this type of operation. So what was their purpose? MY GUESS….they know how to breath in heavy suits, and would be able to do any grunt work.

    For those who haven’t been in a heavy respirator assisted suit, you have to breath in a certain way. You cannot breath in a normal fashion. If you do,what happens in such a scenario is you start to starve yourself of oxygen..oxygen that is being dispersed at a set rate. You start to panic ( a natural reaction) and make things worse. Next you start clawing at your suit. And of course..next you die depending on the atmosphere outside the suit. The way to breath is just using the top third of your lung. Such a breathing method is used in remedial breathing exercises and sports training.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  13th December 2019

      As I suspect that you haven’t been in a ‘heavy respirator assisted suit’, I wonder how you know how to ‘breath’ (sic) in one…

      Your guess as to why these people were there is just that, a guess.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  13th December 2019

      breath – the air taken into or expelled from the lungs
      breathe – the act of taking air into the lungs and then expelling it

      No need to thank me. Happy to help stop you making yourself appear ignorant when so busy telling us how knowledgeable you are.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  13th December 2019

        Is being a spelling nazi really necessary here?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  13th December 2019

          More necessary than Maori culture bashing was necessary here.
          At least he can fix his problem of misspellng breathe relatively simply.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  13th December 2019

            Need an eyesight check, G. No culture bashing or even mention in Cork’s post.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              And you need a reality check, an eyesight test yourself, & to develop a better nose for dog whistling.

              Education is a biggy. As a new generation of mollycoddled folk who have never climbed a tree, shot a slug gun or bashed it out behind the bike shed take charge, the emotional intensity of a disaster situation, the need for on the spot decision making and action, becomes too much and they start to flounder. As anyone knows, who have been in such situations, the longer the korero lasts.. the more chance of violent disagreement regarding the way forward, and the less action eventually taking place.

              PC/ Cultural Correctness: MAY be a problem in some situations – in a variety of ways.
              For example. Why did this recovery operation start at dawn and not maybe 7 am?

              Poorly disguised, dog-whistled Maori culture bash.

              Why does the start time even matter? Because it may have been based on cultural protocols and not procedural requirements for body retrieval. I DON’T KNOW if that was the case, but many Maori events start a dawn with karakia and blessings.

              Rinsed & repeated.

              That is quite likely, in my view. But my question remains, why should that matter? ”

              It matters because the situation may arise when culture is put above what should take place in a disaster situation. A group of emotional angry Maori is a very very bad situation to control, even for experienced people, both Maori and European.

              A person in control may be bullied into a course of action that is not appropriate. In fact so bad are these situations, even police fear to intervene. The case of the Tuhoe body snatchers is a case in point.

              Re- rinsed and repeated, added another bash when that situation has nothing to do with what’s happening at Whakaari.

              To a certain degree you are right. The three Ms are my bread and butter: Maori, Middleclass and Muslims.

              However, I consider that a public service to educate people about those three because the dearth of understanding shown by many poster on this blog is appalling.

              Re-rinsed & repeated & chucked in two more irrelevant factors to justify the presistent Maori culture bashing earlier.

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              *persistent

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  13th December 2019

              So are you going to carry this grudge over into every comment Corks makes now? As if it is relevant?

            • Gezza

               /  13th December 2019

              What grudge?

              He comments. If I’m interested enuf I comment on his comments.

              He’s actually one of my favourite posters.

          • Corky

             /  13th December 2019

            Little minds taking a beat need to latch onto something. Spelling it is. I don’t waste my time on such trifles.

            ”So are you going to carry this grudge over into every comment Corks makes now? As if it is relevant?”

            Exactly, if I was in their situation, I would be ignoring me and letting me get on with posting my irrelevancies. 😊 Of course, they are mad because I show their ignorance up.

            Quote: Google

            ”Bomb disposal is also known as explosive ordnance disposal (EOD). As a bomb disposal technician you would usually begin your career in one of the armed forces. You could work in a warzone or a civilian setting. On a job, you would identify, make safe or dispose of different kinds of dangerous explosive devices.”

            I don’t see anything about search and rescue..so maybe my guess is right?

            http://www.army.mil.nz/about-us/what-we-do/community-support/bomb-disposal.htm

            Enough said. Time for me to move on.

            Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  13th December 2019

    UK election (“landslide win for Boris Johnson; crushing defeat for Jeremy Corbyn”); protests following Algerian election; 6 bodies recovered from volcano island in risky recovery operation in New Zealand – are the 3 headline items on AlJazeera tv 10 pm news.

    Reply

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