WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — The New Zealand firm that managed a volcanic island which erupted killing 22 people in 2019, was on Tuesday found guilty of failing to adequately protect visitors.
Around 50 people were on White Island — also known as Whakaari — in December 2019 when a deadly column of burning ash and steam blasted from a volcanic vent.
The fatal eruption also left 25 people with horrific burns.
A court in Auckland found Whakaari Management failed to “assess risk” to visitors sufficiently, or provide them with protective equipment.
“This was critical to ensuring that tours could be conducted safely” said Judge Evangelos Thomas.
A second charge of ensuring the safety of those working on the island was dismissed.
The management company was the last of 13 individuals and organisations originally charged over the disaster.
Six of the 13, including the three brothers who own the island, had already been acquitted.
Whakaari Management — which granted permits to visit the island — will be sentenced next February with six other parties who pleaded guilty.
The guilty parties face fines of up to NZ$1.5 million (US$876,652).
During a 10-week trial, the court heard that the island’s owners made around NZ$1 million (US$620,000) a year from tourists before disaster struck.
In May last year, New Zealand’s emergency management agency was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Since the eruption, no boat or aircraft tours have been allowed to land on the island.
Former Transport Minister S. Iswaran granted extension on overseas trip amid corruption charges
Singapore to increase retirement age to 64 and re-employment age to 69 by 2026
CCE lesson on Gaza conflict to be customized for varied age groups, says Chan Chun Sing
Taylor Swift’s grandmother revealed to have S’porean connections
Singapore increases minimum salary for Employment Pass to S$5,600 and S$6,200 for financial sector
Pritam Singh clashes with SPS Chua on insinuations over NCMP Leong’s POFMA-ed post
Edwin Tong: Govt “moved fast and early” to secure Taylor Swift show in Singapore, declines to reveal amount spent
Spanish vloggers robbed, sexually assaulted by seven men in India sparks outrage
Temasek-backed Eat Just pauses cultivated meat production in Singapore amid challenges
Singapore’s mainstream media remains mum on Li Shengwu securing tenure at Harvard
Love Aid Singapore announces S$1 million donation milestone alongside tragic kitchen bombing incident in Gaza
Vivian Balakrishnan’s speech on Israel draws mixed responses from netizens
Singapore1 week ago
Gilbert Goh challenges MOE on Israel-Hamas classroom narrative
Politics1 week ago
Leong Mun Wai steps down as PSP Secretary-General over POFMA directive received
Opinion2 days ago
Why isn’t Minister Edwin Tong issuing POFMA Correction Direction against the Thai PM or Bangkok Post?
Singapore1 week ago
MOE responds to critiques on Israel-Hamas conflict education
Singapore2 days ago
Minister Edwin Tong refutes high spending claims on Taylor Swift’s Singapore concerts
Politics2 weeks ago
SDP Chief Chee Soon Juan receives POFMA order for comments on HDB policies
Comments2 weeks ago
Netizens amused by ‘washrooms basic cleaning’ course on SkillsFuture
Comments3 days ago
Netizens flood LHY’s Facebook with congrats as Li Shengwu secures tenure at Harvard