PM and Cabinet observe minute's silence for Whakaari/White Island victims

Cabinet today observed a minute's silence for the victims of the Whakaari/White Island. 

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The 2.11pm moment of silence was observed nationwide and was exactly a week after the volcano erupted. Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and the rest of Cabinet stood in silence at 2.11pm, exactly a week since the eruption began.

In Whakatāne, a large crowd gathered at the Mataatua Wharenui to share in the minute's silence.

"Tikanga has guided us with our community and asked us to look after the bereaved families in the best way that we can and to umbrella the whole community at this tragic time for us," kaumatua Joe Harawira said outside the wharenui.

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A week on from the tragedy many across the country paused to remember those affected. Source: 1 NEWS

"This afternoon we have got around 250 people in the wharenui and they have come from all walks of life but they are the community of Whakatāne and the surrounding districts who have come to pay their respects with the one minutes silence that was called by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern."

Mr Harawira said waiata were performed together to "uplift the spirits of those in the wharenui."

The death toll from the eruption currently stands at 16.

Four more victims were formally identified today. 

They have been named as Jessica Richards, 20; Jason David Griffiths, 33; Martin Berend Hollander, 48; and Kristine Elizabeth Langford, 45, police said.

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Four more victims formally identified in Whakaari/White Island eruption

All four victims were identified as Australian citizens.

Later today, Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne will meet with Ms Ardern to express "deep appreciation for the professional and quick response of the New Zealand emergency and medical services and the care they have provided to Australian survivors of the eruption". 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern observes a minute of silence for victims of the White Island tragedy. Source: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and deputy Winston Peters observe a minute of silence for victims of the White Island tragedy during a cabinet meeting on December 16. Source: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images