This Cabinet minute has been proactively released by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and National Emergency Management Agency, on behalf of Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, and Hon Peeni Henare, Minister of Civil Defence.
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Extract from Cabinet Minute CAB-19-MIN-0692: Additional Item: Whakaari/White Island Volcanic Eruption: Update
Portfolio: Prime Minister/Civil Defence
On 16 December 2019, Cabinet:
1noted that a volcanic eruption on Whakaari/White Island on 9 December 2019 resulted in multiple fatalities and serious injuries to tourists and others visiting the island;
2noted the update on the situation and impacts following the eruption from the Prime Minister, Minister of Health and the Minister of Civil Defence;
3agreed that Hon Nanaia Mahuta be the lead Minister for coordinating the government response in respect of matters arising from the eruption on Whakaari/White Island, working with relevant Ministers;
4invited Hon Nanaia Mahuta to update Cabinet on a regular basis on the progress in the government response and any issues arising;
5noted that further consideration will be given in the new year to whether a formal inquiry will be needed into matters relating to the eruption on Whakaari/White Island in addition to the current investigations being undertaken;
6noted that Cabinet has also agreed to establish a tagged operating contingency of up to $5.0 million to provide for any potential emerging business support packages for Whakatāne due to the eruption (and also for Westland due to the recent adverse weather event) [CAB-19-MIN-0691].
Secretary of the Cabinet