10 December 2019

Update from Simon Everitt, Interim CE BOPDHB on the Whakaari - White Island eruption

Whakatāne Hospital received multiple casualties from the Whakaari - White Island eruption on Tuesday 9 December.

All patients have now been discharged or transferred from Whakatāne Hospital to hospitals around the country.

Our staff did an incredible job rallying together, activating the Mass Casualty Plan immediately.

Staff went beyond the call of duty responding to what quickly emerged as a catastrophic situation.

We are extremely grateful for the support from the wider Bay of Plenty health sector, our whānau and families.

Whakatāne Hospital is a tight team, in a small community, and our staff are deeply affected by the impact of this on our people and our visitors.

We know that some of those who've lost their lives are known to our staff and local community.  Our love and support goes out to them at this time.

Our focus now is on providing psychosocial support for our staff and wider community.

Need to talk? To connect with a professional counsellor free call or text 1737 

To submit information regarding friends or family who might have been visiting Whakaari/White Island during the eruption. Use this form Insert link

Alternatively please call 105 if you are in New Zealand or if you are overseas ring +644 9105 105

At the request of New Zealand Police, New Zealand Red Cross has activated the Family Links website for people wanting to register themselves as safe or register an inquiry about a loved one.

If you are worried about a friend or family member following the White Island eruption, first contact them as you normally would.

If you cannot make contact, you can register them through this website:


Last updated: December 23, 2019