Kia ora whanau,
Good news! After a very moving service at the Ratana Pa chapel where our people found great spiritual value and strength, we are now on the move. We are travelling in small convoys of cars and taking our time to return to Tauranga. Every effort is being made to ensure a comfortable trip home. We estimate the trip will take around seven hours, but we will be updating you with a more accurate ETA as we get closer. We will let you all know when we reach Rotorua.
Be assured everyone had another medical check before departure, and we are arranging to have a nurse and doctor available on arrival at Whareroa Marae in case they are needed at the end of the journey.
Because the two groups have been separated since the accident, Ratana was the place where they were able to catch up with each other again, a nourishing experience. Despite a lot of aches and pains and limps, spirits were high and there was lots of smiles and light banter. Everyone is very shaken but grateful for life.
I am going back via Palmerston North to check on our one last person remaining in hospital.
Please continue to keep all of our whanau in your hearts and prayers today.
Ngai Te Rangi
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