As reported here, 38 people from Ovation of the Seas were on a day trip to White Island, or Whakaari, 48km off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, when the volcano erupted. Many were killed and others suffered horrific burns.
Justice Thomas was critical of ‘astonishing failures’ by Whakaari Management Ltd, the company of White Island owners James, Andrew and Peter Buttle which licensed other companies to run tours.
The case is the largest action of its kind brought by New Zealand regulator WorkSafe New Zealand and the company faces fines of up to NZ$1.5m.
WorkSafe New Zealand had alleged 13 parties were negligent in their duty of care to visitors to the island.
WML was the last to receive a verdict after six pleaded guilty, while six more had their charges dismissed.
Sentencing next year
Sentences will be passed in February.
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