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New Zealand files 13 safety violation charges over volcano eruption that killed 22

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By NICK PERRY

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So the government will collect the fines first, before the victims' families can recover any remaining funds with their lawsuits.

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So the government will collect the fines first, before the victims' families can recover any remaining funds with their lawsuits.

Probably not. This will be tied up in litigation for years. If New Zealand law works like the laws of most democracies there is probably a statute of limitations for each alleged crime setting a deadline by which any such charges must be filed so the agency filed charges before the deadline. Who gets how much and who pays how much in fines and civil settlements will not emerge for years.

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Whenever we travel to dangerous places, be that hiking, surfing, or a semi-active volcano, we each have to decide how much risk we are taking and hope that any guides are responsible enough to say "no" when that is necessary.

I've stood on the edge of a few semi-active volcanoes, experienced a quake WHILE doing that. The guide said we should probably leave and we did.

I've been in other remote parts of the world and weather made visiting some once-in-a-life-time places too dangerous. On the way to the location, we saw two 9-seat vans flipped on the road from high winds. Our guide said we shouldn't attempt our climb on the edge with 50+ mph winds and freezing rain, so we didn't. There was disappointment, but we found other things to fill that day. That evening the guide team reworked our schedule for the next 6 days. In that part of the world, weather forces plan changes all the time. Sure, I regret we didn't see an amazing place, but not being injured and alive is much more important.

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