Let me state first that our thoughts go out to the victims and families of the terrible tragedy of the death and agony of many of those caught up in the tourist visit to the volcano White Island.
As levels of volcanic activity were raised to ‘Level two’ that was the time for the tourist company operators and those at the helm of the company to cease taking the risk to lives of those visiting customers to visit Whakaari/White Island.
Before the tragedy and ‘Level two’ it was reported officially that the island was showing elevation of volcanic activity for some months. To take anyone to the island was dangerous. This tragedy is a very black mark for New Zealand.
I have permission to quote in part Mr Paterson’s letter to the editor (The Weekend Sun, January 3, page 21): "The operator takes all profits and duty of care of risks - needing to adhere strictly to consent, rules and regulations. This is not an adventure trip, it is risk prone costing customers approx $229 per person".
J. Clark, Tauranga