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Family, friends farewell shearers


Tangi for the two people killed when a shearing gang's van crashed near Dannevirke on Friday are being held on their home marae on the East Coast and in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
On Saturday Elaine Robin was taken to Mangatu Marae, Te Karaka, where her tangi was to draw to a close with a service starting about 11am today, while teenaged shearer Jordon Hiroki was expected to be farewelled at Opotiki tomorrow.
Of the nine others taken to hospital after the crash between Dannevirke and Weber, three remained in hospital for the weekend, but were expected to be discharged today, said employer Koro Mullins.
They are driver Wayne Wright, Golden Shears junior champion Dion Reedy, and Aidan Rivers, whose broken ankle was thought to have been the only fracture suffered by any of the survivors.
Two vanloads of shearing workers left Dannevirke early today for Te Karaka, but they did not include their bosses, Mr Mullins and wife Mavis, who were heading to Wellington today for an early-evening parliamentary reception for the New Zealand shearing and woolhandling team, which Mrs Mullins will manage at the world championships in Toowoomba in June.
The couple were planning to head to Opotiki for Mr Hiroki's tangi after the reception.
They were overwhelmed by community support during the weekend when the two workers were mourned by friends and workmates at Paewai Mullins Shearing's Kaitoke quarters before being taken to their marae.
"It has been a tremendously sad time - tauritaumata," Mr Mullins said.
"It's been a whole time of disbelief."
Police and Occupational Safety and Health are investigating the crash which happened when the van, containing 12 people, left a bend on Weber Road and slid side-on into a tree.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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