7 Jan 2012

Condolences offered by minister

7:36 pm on 7 January 2012

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has expressed condolences on behalf of the Government to the families and loved ones of the 11 people who died in the hot air balloon tragedy at Carterton on Saturday.

He says the accident will be thoroughly investigated by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, the Civil Aviation Authority and police on behalf of the Coroner.

Mr Brownlee said commercial rules for hot air ballooning were part of a recently completed review into adventure tourism.

He says experts will be looking to see if there is anything to learn from investigations that can improve safety for others in the future.

In a statement, Labour Party leader David Shearer also offered his condolences following the accident.

"To have lost loved ones so unexpectedly and in such circumstances must be heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with you all at this most difficult time," he said.