The bus was carrying members of a school brass band that was on a four-week fundraising tour from Tonga.
The band was on its way to Gisborne to perform at a church on Christmas Day, when the bus plunged down a steep bank.
Three people were killed and many others were injured.
The crash killed 11-year-old Sione Taumololo and a 33-year-old Talita Fifita.
Leotisia Malakai, 55, died later from her injuries at Waikato Hospital.