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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at New Zealand's parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Tantrum Photography via Getty Images

New Zealand authorities laid safety violation charges Monday against 10 organizations and three individuals over the fatal Whakaari/White Island volcanic disaster last December, per a statement from the agency WorksSafe.

Details: WorksSafe declined to name those charged as they may seek name suppression in court. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said government agencies GNS Science, which monitors volcanic activity, and the National Emergency Management Agency were among those charged over the "horrific tragedy" that killed 22 people.

The big picture: 47 people were on the island when it erupted, including New Zealanders and tourists from the U.S., Australia, the U.K., China, Germany and Malaysia. All "suffered serious injuries and trauma," WorkSafe Chief Executive Phil Parkes said in a statement.

  • He said they had "the reasonable expectation that there were appropriate systems in place to ensure they made it home healthy and safe."
  • The 10 groups face charges that carry a maximum fine of NZ$1.5 million (US$1.06 million). The trio, charged as directors or individuals required to exercise due diligence on health and safety obligations, face charges with a maximum fine of $300,000. They're all due to appear in the Auckland District Court on Dec. 15.

Of note: Parks stressed that the WorkSafe investigation related to parties taking tourists to the island.

  • It did not focus on the rescue and recovery of victims following the eruption, which may be the subject of other proceedings, such as a coronial inquest.

Go deeper: White Island eruption death toll rises to 22 ahead of 1st anniversary

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

What to know about the private equity firm linked to Tony Blinken

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Expect to begin hearing a lot about private equity firm Pine Island Capital Partners, as its partners include Tony Blinken (Biden's secretary of state nominee, now on leave from Pine Island) and Michèle Flournoy (Biden's possible defense secretary nominee).

What to know: Pine Island was formed in 2018 by former CIT Group and Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, former Goldman Sachs buyout big Phil Cooper, and ex-Coca-Cola executive Clyde Tuggle. It focuses on mid-market companies in a variety of sectors, including aerospace and defense.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.