Richard Elzer and Karla Matthews of Coffs Harbour.
Richard Elzer and Karla Matthews of Coffs Harbour. facebook

Father of Coffs man who died frustrated by not knowing

THE father of a Coffs Harbour man, who died in the White Island volcano eruption on Monday, has released a statement, saying he found out more information on the eruption from the media than government on the situation. 

Peter Elzer's son Rick was on the island with his girlfriend Karla Mathews who after Monday's eruption were reported missing on the island.

They were travelling with fellow local Jason David Griffiths, 33, who passed away on Wednesday night in an Auckland hospital following surgery.

EARLIER STORY: Jason's mother and grandmother to travel to New Zealand 

With the intense media interest in the tragedy, Peter Elzer on Wednesday said he has been forced to release a statement calling for privacy.

"We the extended Elzer family confirm that our son / brother / uncle Richard Elzer and his beautiful girlfriend Karla Mathews are among the eight people missing, presumed to be deceased following the volcano eruption on White Island in New Zealand on Monday," Mr Elzer stated.

"We are currently dealing with the situation as a close knit family unit and appreciate our privacy being respected by all media outlets.

"We acknowledge the mammoth efforts undertaken by Paul Murtha and Alex Severus who are travelling with Rick and Karla.

"They have searched tirelessly for information day and night, at their own expense, to provide us with regular updates."

Hayden Marshall-Inman admits he was afraid the volcano would blow back in September 2017. Picture: Still from NZ Pocket Guide YouTube Channel
Hayden Marshall-Inman admits he was afraid the volcano would blow back in September 2017. Picture: Still from NZ Pocket Guide YouTube Channel


The family also acknowledged the generous offers from Rick's employer Woolworths during this very difficult time.

"We are frustrated by the lack of information to us from the Australian authorities up until now and would like to call for a change to the way the Department of Foreign Affairs corresponds with immediate family members in crises like these.

"To be reliant on media reports for information shows a real lack of consideration for the welfare of those families.

"We extend our warmest wishes to all those still suffering and their families and the families of the deceased."



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