Survivors, families of the dead, first responders and people around Whakatāne have observed a minute's silence at the same time as the Whakaari / White Island eruption one year ago.
Many have gathered at Mataatua Marae for a commemoration service on the anniversary. The ceremony is being live streamed at a nearby reserve where members of the public also stood in silence.
At 2.11pm on December 9 last year, the volcano, which is 52.3km off the coast of Whakatāne, erupted killing 20 tourists and two tour guides.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy are among the dignitaries on the marae for the service.
Dame Reddy was the first to speak at the commemorative service.
She said December 9 was a "dark day".
She extended condolences to the families of the victims and saluted those who were involved in the recovery efforts.
"I salute everyone involved in the rescue and recovery operations including members of our defence force who put themselves in harm's way.
"People in the community stepped forward to help wherever they could. People injured that day had to draw on all their resolves and strength.
"It's a year when we've all been challenged to think beyond ourselves and act in the public good."
Ardern told those at the service the day of the eruption was "devastating" and "deeply personal" for those in Whakatāne.
"In the minutes and hours that followed [the eruption] the enormity of the tragedy became apparent. No more so than for this community - Whakatāne.
"In a nation that had experienced so much pain and loss in recent times, 9th December 2019 was devastating."
She said the actions of rescuers were "courageous" and thanked first responders and others involved following the eruption.
"Today we remember those who passed away, those were injured and their whānau.
"This was an extraordinarily challenging event and I know it affected everyone personally and deeply.
"I met many of you in the weeks after the eruption, you gave your all to support those who were affected."
Ardern sent a message of love to survivors and affected families both overseas and in the room.
"The impacts of this eruption were felt here on our shores with the lose of Tipene Maangi and Hayden Marshall-Inman but it was also felt acutely abroad too."
She read a statement from a person who had lost family in the eruption.
"If something as devastating as this was going to happen, I'm grateful it happened in New Zealand where their souls can rest in natural beauty and in love," the statement said.
Ardern said those who had died in the eruption would be "forever linked" to New Zealand.
Whakatāne mayor Judy Turner was next to speak at the service.
"Nothing that we say or do will counter the devastation and loss that survivors, families and friends who lost loved ones have felt since December 9, 2019."
She recalled meeting first responders the day after the eruption.
"The events of last December shook us to the core. I recall visiting the Whakatāne fire station to meet with first responders and the emotion was plain to see and to feel. But what was also evident was the overriding sense of camaraderie ... Just as we have experienced within our communities in the last year.
"We are eternally grateful for what our first responders did on that day and continue to do.
"It's clear that we will never be the same again but we hope today's shared reflections and events will bring some comfort. I'm proud of the way our people have come together in these difficult times.
"We in the Whakatāne District will continue to welcome people to our area with open arms. As a resilient community we will step forward into the future. Yet our hearts and minds will continue to be shaped by the past and we will always remember."
Hayden Marshall-Inman's mother Avey Woods described him as a loving and kind man who would do anything to help someone.
"We had a special bond ... Hayden loved me for who I am and I loved him for who he was.
"I still wait for his texts 'what's for dinner mum?' 'love you mum'.
"We cannot forget those who were injured on that day - they have a long road ahead of them."
She said grief affected everybody differently.
"What do you say when you lose a son? When you break down on the beach, calling his name, sobbing and a stranger puts their arms around you while you cry, you wail, sob and call out his name. That was the day after he died.
"To this day I do not know who that lady was on the beach and I hope she's listening because that shows what a community we are.
"No one can tell us how to grieve because we grieve in our own time. I believe no one ever gets over the loss of a loved one."
Woods said everybody had been torn apart by the eruption.
"I won't lie, it's extremely hard, you can be at the shop and suddenly you're full of tears. All our family has been torn apart, everybody has been torn apart through this."
She spoke of one of Hayden's last good deeds. After going out for dinner they passed a woman working on the side of the road. He dropped his mum home before going back to give the lady a high vis jacket, to keep her safe.
"That's the kind of person Hayden is.
"To this day, I still miss his ute backing down our driveway to call in and see mum or have dinner. We all have our own memories of Hayden. As all mums know, Hayden was a part of me."
Woods said she visited Ohope Beach daily as that was where she felt most connected to Hayden.
She thanked those who had supported her in the last year.
"I'm so lucky to have a loving support team of friends that are now my family.
"I thank each and every one of you. You've helped me in so many ways."
She said her son's strength, spirit and inspiration kept her going.
"So many people have told me how strong I've been through this grief. I don't think I'm strong, I'm just doing what Hayden would've wanted ... He would want me to live life to the fullest, make memories."
She said Whakaari was the perfect resting place for Hayden and closed by reading a poem written for her.
"I feel a warmth, a sense of pressure. I listen, I hear, it is just different. A longing for what was keeps me looking for what may be. Alas there is no touch, there is no hug. I know he is near, it's just different."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will lay a wreath at a memorial book outside the front of the wharenui as she exits. The memorial book is surrounded with candles with the faces of those lost their lives on them.
Other people affected by the eruption from around the country also shared written and video messages during the service.
American couple Matt and Lauren Urey, who had been on their honeymoon at the time of the eruption sent a video message.
In another video message, Sydney couple Nick and Marion London acknowledged the family and friends of victims.
"We share your grief and the departed will be forever in our minds," Nick said.
"People often ask us how we're feeling and we tell them we're not great but we're grateful. We're grateful for the people who helped us along the road."
He said the quick thinking of guides Kelsey Waghorn and Jake Millbank saved their lives.
They thanked the hospital staff who were the difference between survival and death.
The couple thanked all those who had helped them after the eruption.
In an audio message Americans, Rick and Ivy Reed said they were grateful to have survived the eruption and sent condolences to the families of those who had not.
They also thanked those in hospitals including Tauranga and Middlemore.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped in our rescue. We imagine it was traumatic for all of you but please know you were our heroes that day."
The sister of Australian Rick Elzer, who died alongside his girlfriend Karla Mathews, teared up in a video message where she showed her brother's final resting place.
Elzer's father Peter also spoke.
"Since the tragic events of last December, our family has gone through sadness but we've come together and rejoiced the times and happiness that we shared with our son and his partner. It has really brought our families together and I think we now all look at life a little differently."
Speaking through a translator, a Chinese survivor said the eruption changed her life.
"It's thanks to the heroes, the medical workers, that I'm still alive. I will never forget them.
"I'll stay positive, keep a bright mind and go through it."
Members of the public are also filling the nearby Mataatua Reserve to watch a broadcast of the live stream on a big screen. Children from Te Kura o Te Paroa performed kapa haka for the waiting public.
About 100 people gathered for a dawn service this morning at Whakatāne Heads in honour of the 22 people who died, RNZ reported.
Local iwi Ngāti Awa facilitated the service and those who gathered performed karakia and sang emotional waiata, facing the ocean in the direction of Whakaari.
Among the crowd were former tour guides Kelsey Waghorn and Jake Milbank, who were New Zealand's only survivors of the eruption.
Waiariki MP Rawiri Waititi was down at the reserve to commemorate those who lost their lives and to "stand in solidarity" with their families.
Waititi' s nephew Tipene Maangi was killed in the eruption.
He said his whānau were "fortunate enough" to get his body returned home. They had been through their grieving process and had closure that many others hadn't, he said.
He said they had formed a special bond with the whānau of Hayden Marshall-Inman, the tour guide whose body was never recovered.
"My heart goes out to them," Waititi said.
He was down here today as an MP but also someone who had suffered a loss.
Whakaari was still live and active and she was the reason we were all gathered today, he said.
Amy, who did not wish to share her last name, looked at Whakaari every day from her window.
She felt that was more than a reason to come and commemorate at Mataatua reserve.
Whakaari was the jewel in Whakatāne's crown she said, and the eruption had changed the town forever.
Others who spoke to NZME said it was a pōuri day and was important to come down and stand together in support of those who have passed or those who were still suffering.
When the live stream started at Mataatua reserve the crowd quietened.
There are more than 50 people at the reserve enjoying the sun while paying their respects.
One couple that spoke to NZME anonymously said the town was starting to turn around again, following a deep sadness through the town.
Remembering the dead
The dead included teenagers, elderly tourists, a family of four and two Kiwi tour guides who showed visitors around what was regarded as one of New Zealand's most unique tourism destinations.
Tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman's body was never recovered and his family planned to head to Whakaari this morning if the weather allowed.
Many of those injured or killed were Australians who had been visiting from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship docked in Tauranga.
Those who survived spent months in intensive care units in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere fighting for their lives and receiving multiple surgeries to treat the extensive burns suffered in the eruption.
On the anniversary today, survivors, victims' families and first responders have been invited to the marae for a commemoration service.
It's is closed to the wider public and Māori Television is the only media organisation present. It will be livestreaming the event to the public and the livestream will also be broadcast on a big screen at Mataatua Reserve from 1pm.
Last week WorkSafe New Zealand confirmed charges had been laid against 13 parties in relation to the eruption.