Tonga's deputy prime minister says he hopes survivors of a fatal bus crash near Gisborne can get safely home to Tonga soon.
53 people were onboard the bus when it plunged 100 metres down a steep bank south of Gisborne on Christmas Eve.
The crash killed 11-year-old Sione Taumololo, and Talita Fifita, 33.
The bus was full of school children from the Tongan Island of Vava'u who were on a four-week tour to raise money.
Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni said the surviving passengers were in better spirits now and had been in touch with home.
"One of the key concerns is actually getting the passengers back to Auckland and [then] back to Tonga," he said.
"That's something that we're looking at right now, working with ministers and the police and the local community."
The local Tongan community as well as the Gisborne community had pulled together to support the group, he said.