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Statement from PM on Tongariro drownings

Tragic loss of life at Tongariro

Prime Minister Helen Clark has expressed profound sympathy and shock at news of the death of seven people in a flash flood near Mt Tongariro overnight.

“My sincere condolences go to the families of those who lost their lives in the Mangatepopo River, the Elim Christian College school community, and staff from the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

“The loss of six students and one teacher is devastating.

“The Outdoor Pursuits Centre has developed a strong reputation over the years for its work with young people in the demanding environment of New Zealand’s rivers and mountains. It has endeavoured to develop the potential of young people through education and adventure, and the loss of life on this course is particularly tragic.

“Government agencies will provide whatever assistance and support they can to the families and school community.

“My thoughts are with the families, the whole school community, and the Outdoor Pursuits Centre at this sad time,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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