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Notice of Motion Re Drownings: Maori Party

Notice of Motion: Rt Hon Helen Clark

I move that this House note its deep sorrow at the tragic deaths of six young people and their teacher from Auckland's Elim Christian College, while participating in an outdoor education programme in the Tongariro National Park. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families and Elim Christian College community, and the staff and families of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Ka waipuke mai nga roimata, mai i te kähui maunga rere kau ana ki te moana.

Ka tangi te awa, ka tangi ahau.

(Interpretation: Our tears flood the river, from the majestic mountains to the sea. The River people weep, as do I. )

I stand today, extending my gaze from the mountains to the sea, thinking of those who have lost their lives in the Mangatepopo Gorge and their whanau.

Our tears flow as we think of the tragedy that has occurred near the Tongariro National Park, a tragedy which has dealt a savage blow to the families, the Elim Christian College, as well as the staff of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre and indeed all who were involved in this tragic event.

No-one in this House can imagine the pain that the parents, the wider families and the school community must be feeling at this time.

We can but express our deepest condolences for young lives lost.

The whole process of living, growing and maturing involves taking risks and testing boundaries.

Each of those young people – and I include in our thoughts their young teacher – connect through to families who had dreams and aspirations that will now not be realised, so tenuous is life.

The Maori Party has been shocked at the terrible tragedy that took place at the headwaters of the Whanganui River, a tragedy which extinguished so much hope and potential.

We offer our sincere condolences to those who have been affected.


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