Anniversary Apology

Air New Zealand will apologise to relatives of the victims of the 1979 Mt Erebus plane crash which killed all 257 on board in Antarctica during a sightseeing flight. Chief executive Rob Fyfe is to use the 30th anniversary of the tragedy to apologise for the way the families were treated after the accident. But he will not apologise for the accident itself or the controversial subsequent investigations, which at first attempted to blame pilot error for the crash. Jackie Nankervis, who was 15 when she lost her father and uncle in the accident, said an apology would be “a step in the right direction”. The Erebus disaster, which also killed six Britons, was New Zealand’s biggest single tragedy. Sightseeing flights from Auckland to Antarctica were popular day trips at the time, with DC-10s taking passengers on a low-flying sweep over McMurdo Sound before returning to New Zealand. In a recent letter to the Erebus families, Fyfe wrote: “It was the experience of that accident … that caused me to reflect on many of the gaps and failings that occurred in the days, months and years after November 28, 1979.”


Tags: Air New Zealand  Antarctica  Mount Erebus  Rob Fyfe  Times (The)  

Barbara Wheeler, The First New Zealander to Become a Longwood Gardens Fellow

Barbara Wheeler, The First New Zealander to Become a Longwood Gardens Fellow

Dunedin horticulturist Barbara Wheeler is the first New Zealander to receive a fellowship from Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, one of the premier horticultural gardens in the United States. The…