On November 28, 1979, an Air New Zealand jet took off from Auckland Airport on a sightseeing trip to Antarctica.
There were 257 people on board. Hours later everyone was dead.
Somehow, the plane had flown directly into the Erebus volcano. This was a disaster that shattered a country’s psyche.
In the decades since, grief gave way to blame, anger and recrimination. Who was responsible for so many deaths? Was there a cover-up? How could a plane just fly into a mountain?
To mark the 40th anniversary of the disaster, Michael Wright and Katy Gosset explore why New Zealand’s deadliest disaster...
40 years after the Erebus disaster, there is still no national memorial to the victims and no consensus on exactly what happened that day in 1979. Why has New Zealand been so hopelessly unable to deal with its worst-ever disaster?
In 1981, New Zealand was changing. The baby boomers had come of age, and the South African rugby tour was about to tear the country apart. When the Mahon report landed right in the middle of this, the country was ready for its first big conspiracy theory.
'An orchestrated litany of lies' is ingrained into New Zealand's collective consciousness. Justice Peter Mahon didn't have to say that, but he did. It would prove the making of him, and the ruin.