10 December 2019

On behalf of Tauranga City Council and Tourism Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty locals are being asked to care for and help Ovation of the Seas cruise passengers who will disembark in Tauranga today. A number of passengers from the ship were involved in yesterday’s Whakaari White Island eruption and everyone on board has been deeply affected by this tragic event.

Ovation of the Seas will depart the Port of Tauranga at 6.15 pm today. Her passengers have been able to leave the ship from 10 am today.

Locals are asked to wave the cruise ship off from Pilot Bay and Mauao (Mount Maunganui) when she departs, to show her passengers the love and care the community extends to those affected.

“Now, more than ever, we’re calling on our community to join together and ensure we take care of those Ovation of the Seas passengers who will remain in Tauranga to be with their loved ones,” said Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell. “They have been caught up in an event that will have a long-lasting impact on all of their lives. Our deepest condolences are with those who have been injured, and with the loved ones of those who have perished.”

“I ask our generous community to show aroha and give support to the cruise passengers in our city today,” said Tourism Bay of Plenty Chief Executive Kristin Dunne.

Local Iwi Ngāi Te Rangi will be offering a Karakia Tau Te Mauri (prayer vigil) for the affected passengers at 4 pm today. The Karakia Tau Te Mauri will take place inside the Port of Tauranga gates to settle the wairua (spirit) of those affected before departing.

The Ovation of the Seas arrived at the Port of Tauranga yesterday, Monday 9 December. Some of her passengers were involved in a tour of Whakaari White Island when it erupted at 2.11 pm yesterday.

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