Royal Commission of Inquiry needed into Whakaari/White Island

The National Party is calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Whakaari/White Island disaster.

“A higher level of inquiry, like a Royal Commission, is usually undertaken after an event where there has been a significant loss of life. Royal Commission of Inquiries were held after both Pike River and the Christchurch Mosque shooting tragedies,” Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“Given the enormity of the disaster, the loss of 22 lives with a further 25 people suffering injuries, it’s highly unusual the Government has not already established a Royal Commission.

“The inquiry undertaken by WorkSafe is a narrow ‘work place’ accident level inquiry as required by regulation.

“Only a full independent inquiry will provide the answers to questions that go beyond those likely to be focused on in the Courts. A review of this level can provide the kind of comprehensive and independent insight into the disaster.

“Just because legal proceedings have been initiated doesn’t mean the Government can’t set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Whakaari White Island disaster.

“It’s bizarre the Prime Minister has effectively rejected the option of a Royal Commission Inquiry.

“We all want to see a thorough investigation for the victims and their families so that we can prevent something like this happening again. A Royal Commission of Inquiry is entirely appropriate for this tragedy.

“We need to take every opportunity to learn from this tragedy, so we can be better prepared with a more effective response, and to ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again. That’s why a Royal Commission of Inquiry is needed.”