Kia ora whanau,
We have been heartened by the discharge from hospital of many of our people. Three will be staying in hospital overnight as far as we know, but we will be ferrying back the remainder of our precious cargo to Tauranga tomorrow.
We heard about this accident at 3.13pm today. Response teams were set up within the first 40 minutes, our staff were on the ground in Palmerston North, Wanganui, Wellington, and Tauranga, as well as me being in transit from Tauranga to Palmerston North.
Our priority was ensuring the wellbeing of our people. We got on to the police straight away and started to coordinate the iwi liaison officers in three different districts. Offers of assistance from others also started flowing in, for which we are extremely grateful.
Media started calling within 40 minutes and a lot of time was taken up by responding media-wise, and answering their questions. An iwi media statement went out within an hour and a half of that initial call.
I was on my way back to Tauranga from the iwi chairs forum when that call came through. I diverted to drive straight through to Palmerston North.
Most of that time on the road has been coordinating and assisting those teams on the ground.
Our chairman, Charlie Tawhiao, has been kept abreast of everything that is going on. His focus has been ensuring that the teams involved in dealing with this have everything they need. Charlie is attending the iwi chairs forum and has continued to deal with the issue of the Hauraki signing trying to find pathways through with other iwi leaders and government ministers, secure in the knowledge his operations team has the aftermath of this accident in hand.
The next stage is to ensure everyone has a comfortable night, especially if they have injuries.
First thing in the morning we will assess the best way to get everyone home again.
Emily is available on 021495627 if you need more information.
And again, please keep all of our whanau in your prayers tonight.
Ngai Te Rangi
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