Watersports

Whakaari/White Island tour guide’s brother talks about WorkSafe fees

Mark Inman, brother of White Island Tours guide Hayden Inman-Marshall. Picture/file

The brother of Whakaari/White Island tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, who died in the December eruption, believes no criminal charges should have been brought for the tragedy.

Hayden Marshall-Inman, 40, died when Whakaari erupted on December 9.

Marshall-Inman was one of two White Island Tours guides among the 22 dead and his body was never found.

He spent his final moments doing all he could to get seriously injured tourists to safety, performing first aid and making sure they were wearing masks.

On Monday, WorkSafe New Zealand confirmed it had brought criminal charges against 10 organizations and three individuals over the eruption.

WorkSafe chief executive Phil Parkes did not name the 13 accused parties, saying they needed an opportunity to appear before a judge to seek the removal of the name.

Hayden Inman-Marshall died in an eruption on Whakaari/White Island.  Picture/file
Hayden Inman-Marshall died in an eruption on Whakaari/White Island. Picture/file

Mark Inman said he knew his brother would be “extremely disappointed” that some of his friends and colleagues might face charges.

“At the end of the day, Hayden was working for a professional company and they all did their best to put together a very professional, well-regarded and highly sought-after adventure tour,” he said.

“If anyone had known the eruption was imminent, they would not have gone to the island… If Hayden was alive, he would have been very disappointed that charges had been laid.

“People are putting rules and regulations in place and doing their best to keep people safe, but with these types of natural phenomena, tourists are naturally going to be drawn to them.

“It should not be about blaming one person but about learning lessons so that in the event of another natural disaster, the rescue and recovery mission can be carried out as safely as possible.

“Whether it’s the Pike River disaster, Mount Erebus or some other tragedy, we need to make sure people learn from it, so we’re trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again. “

Inman said it was difficult to comment further until more details about the WorkSafe lawsuits come to light.

“I understand that the legal process needs to take its course, including allowing accused persons to request the removal of the name, but I was hoping for at least more transparency on the charges.”

Inman said the criminal charges weren’t going to bring his brother back.

“I have always insisted that no criminal charges should be brought, and that is our family’s view as well.”

But the charges have brought “some relief” to Meredith Dallow, whose twin, Gavin Dallow, died along with her 15-year-old stepdaughter, Zoe Hosking.

His wife, Lisa, 48, was seriously injured, suffering burns to nearly 60% of her body.

“I’m not surprised that charges were laid and I’m pretty happy, to be honest,” Meredith Dallow said earlier.

“I’m glad the WorkSafe investigation has taken place and there is an outcome, but that doesn’t really end things,” she said from Adelaide.

She believed closure would not come until the court cases and coroner’s inquest were completed.

“It is a relief to us, especially as we approach the 12-month anniversary.”

Steve Milbank, whose son Jake Milbank, 19, will need treatment for the rest of his life after suffering burns to 80% of his body, said news of the charges did not reveal much. thing.

Milbank said it would be a long time before the details of why they were charged became known and that releasing the report was just the first step.

“We won’t know for a while.”

Earlier, Parkes said the charges were the culmination of the most thorough investigation she has ever conducted.

“This deeply tragic event was unexpected but that doesn’t mean it was unpredictable.”

The 13 charged parties will appear in Auckland District Court on December 15.

Although they have not been officially named, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that two government agencies, GNS Science and the National Emergency Management Agency, were among those charged.

White Island is owned by the Buttle family, through Whakaari Management Limited and its three directors, James, Peter and Andrew Buttle.

Their lawyer also confirmed that they had been charged but had not yet received specific details.