Yes, there were lots of interesting lessons which came out of this. A few things immediately come to mind:
– It developed over the Christmas/New Year period (a bit like the 2004 indian Ocean tsunami), and it was important to key stakeholders to not delay. NEMO (and the Director is the key person here) prepared a request for assistance quickly; the NZ High commission responded quickly talking with both wellington and GNS Science; the Tongan Geological Dept did a great job is hosting the GNS team, getting them out to the developing volcano
– you’re right that this hazard was ‘nipped in the bud’ before it developed into something potentially more difficult (although fortunately it did die down of its own accord). Acting proactively was also the success of the wye River fires (Mod 2.3.), where immediate action sustained over a number of days prevented a tragedy taking place