WorkSafe has cautioned anyone who may contemplate landing on Whakaari/White Island for work purposes not to do so.

The removal of maritime and civil aviation exclusion zones at 6pm tonight does not mean that operators can assume that it is now safe to resume business as usual on the island.

“Experts tell us that conditions on the island could vary from moment to moment, the risk of a further eruption remains. There is also risk from contact with the ash emitted during the recent eruption, it could be highly corrosive. Even low level volcanic activity could release toxic gases.” said Acting Chief Operating Officer Tony Hetherington.

“This is not currently an environment for anyone who is not an expert in assessing these conditions. Before anyone goes to work on the island or takes tourists or others to the island, they will need to ensure that a detailed assessment of conditions has been undertaken. The risks will need to be assessed and the need for protective clothing and other precautions will need to be set out by experts.

“WorkSafe inspectors can prohibit activities at workplaces where the inspector reasonably believes that there is a serious risk to health and safety arising from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard”.

Media contact details

For more information you can contact our Media Team using our media request form. Alternatively, you can:

Phone: 021 823 007 or

Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz