On Thursday 4 April, while on a guided tour of Moutohorā Island, a tourist fell and was seriously injured.

First aid was immediately provided and the emergency services were called. The Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter attended and the injured person was airlifted to Tauranga Hospital but subsequently passed away on Friday evening (5 April). Details of the deceased have not been released by the Police.

Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Chairman, Paul Quinn says “We are all deeply saddened and devastated by this tragic accident and we send our thoughts and aroha to the deceased’s whanau. We are looking to see what support we can provide to them at this very difficult time” said Mr Quinn.

WorkSafe and the Department of Conservation which administers Moutohora Island and its tracks, are both conducting investigations into the incident.

White Island Tours are co-operating fully with both investigations, and will participate in any coronial enquiry, if and when that occurs. The Department of Conservation has suspended all tour operations on Moutohorā Island while the investigations are ongoing.

Mr Quinn advised “Until the Worksafe and DOC investigations are complete, we are unfortunately not able to make any further public comment on the incident.”