Sign the petition, take action. Thanks to Jo for highlighting this injustice.
From Jo Blogs Red Sky in the Morning
A year after White Island erupted, NZ government department Worksafe is prosecuting the first responders.
Mark Law, a helicopter pilot with Kāhu NZ, Tim Barrow and colleagues from Volcanic Air flew out and landed on the smouldering island to rescue some survivors – particularly members of the group that had been closest to the erupting crater. They did what they could because the emergency services were told not to respond.
They flew into hell but they were not honoured for their heroism. Jacinda Adern took the credit for the response, even though she had nothing to do with it: ‘How good is Jacinda Ardern’: People applaud NZ PM.
The locals were on their own. “When the eruption occurred, and the emergency calls started on Monday afternoon, police and rescue services decided that they would not head to the island to help.” Source: After Whakaari/White Island, it’s up to us to save ourselves
Now, 12 months later, the helicopter pilots have been charged under Worksafe Rules for failing to meet the health and safety requirements of their companies under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
It seems that Worksafe are looking to blame others even though their inspector visited two months prior to the eruption for an audit and signed everything off as being fine.
The source who revealed the Worksafe visit said: “A Government Health and Safety Inspector was recently on the island and this gave everyone the impression the operation was safe. He didn’t raise a single concern.”
“Ngāti Awa stated he was there to look over their current safety systems and see if they provided for projected growth and expansion- getting more tourists to the Island,” the source said.
I can imagine the stress it’s put these men under. Does anyone else think this a despicable act on the part of the NZ government and petty government officials?
A petition has been launched here: Stop The Prosecution of the Helicopter Pilots Who Saved Lives on Whakaari/White Island
These men deserve to be recognised for their heroism, not pestered or persecuted by Work safe with the knowledge of our disingenuous prime minister who took the credit for their actions. They were never publicly recognised for their bravery because the government didn’t want us to know the emergency services had been told to stand down.
Here’s my post from last year, after the volcano erupted and the emergency services were told not to respond. White Island tragedy exposed a growing institutional cowardice.
Martin comments: Yes, Ardern is well practiced at claiming credit for the acts and deeds of others. Maybe Worksafe should investigate the PM?