Status: For immediate release
Date: 9 January 2020
Subject: Kōtahi marama ki muri – One month after Whakaari
Waipuke ana te rere o roimata o Ngāti Awa, otirā ngā iwi o Mataatua, i ngā mate ohorere i Whakaari.
E tangi ana mātau ko ngā whānau o ō mātau uri, ko ngā whānau o ngā manuhiri o te rohe.
Ka tuku te marumaru, ngā roimata, me te awhi.
E inoi hoki ana kia whakarauora rātau i taotū i tēnei pāmamaetanga, me te inoi anō kia hoki mai te tokorua kua ngaro tonu.
E mihi ana a Ngāti Awa ki a rātau ngā toa i whakamōrea kia whakahoki ngā mōrehu, ngā mate hoki, i a Whakaari ki ngā ringa o ō rātau whānau.
One month has passed since the Whakaari tragedy, a day that will linger long in the memory of our iwi, our community and especially the friends and families of those who perished as a result of the calamity.
We continue to grieve with those who lost loved ones. Although there is little that can soothe such unfathomable pain, it is with heartfelt aroha and compassion we offer you our shelter, our tears and our embrace.
Our thoughts also remain with those who were injured so terribly in the eruption and pray that their wounds – both physical and emotional – will heal swiftly and completely, in the hope they will eventually return to the lives they enjoyed before the tragedy.
Ngāti Awa also wish to thank those who selflessly exhausted their time, resource and energy into the emergency response and recovery. From those who placed themselves at great risk to recover both the living and the deceased from Whakaari back into the arms of their whānau, to the medical professionals who worked around the clock saving lives and providing comfort to the injured, and to the countless agencies and individuals who stood in solidarity with Ngāti Awa and the wider Whakatāne community as we rallied to support the impacted and their families.
We remain focussed on the wellbeing of our manuhiri, our staff and especially the bereaved families, who continue to display immense strength and courage at this time despite being crippled with the debilitating hopelessness of loss.
Mā te Atua me te waahi ngaro tātau e tiaki e manaaki i ngā wā katoa.
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