Condolences for families of boating tragedy victims
Pacific People's Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has expressed his condolences to the families of the men who died in the boating tragedy on the Kaipara Harbour this weekend.
"Everyone on board, apart from the skipper, was of pacific descent. The men were from the Tongan, Cook Islands and Samoan communities here in New Zealand. Their loss will be felt by their families and communities both here and in the Pacific,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
"My prayers and deepest sympathies are with the families who now face Christmas without their fathers, husbands and sons. This was a group of friends who liked to go fishing together from time to time.”
“This is one New Zealand’s worst maritime disasters in recent years and is a tragedy for everyone. We offer any support we can at this difficult time."
“11 people, aged between 31 and 59, are believed to have been on board the ‘Francie’ when it capsized yesterday as it tried to re-enter the Kaipara Harbour in 4 metres waves. The bodies of 7 people have been recovered and the search continues for the body of another man. Three survivors were taken to hospital yesterday.”
"The Francie's skipper, well-known local man William McNatty, is among those who died and I extend my condolences to his family."
“Victim support staff are with the families and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples staff will also act as a liaison with the families and police,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.