Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


$45,000 fine handed down to Columbus Academy

3 July 2003

Press release

$45,000 fine handed down to Columbus Academy for RMA and Building Act breaches

The now defunct Columbus Academy (NZ) Ltd of West Harbour and one of its directors, Katsuo Kanamori, was today fined $45,000 in the Auckland District Court on charges related to overcrowding, insanitary living conditions and fire danger.

The fine could have been higher, but was substantially reduced due to Mr Kanamori’s early guilty pleas.

The prosecution was brought by the Waitakere City Council for breaches of both the RMA and the Building Act 1991 in relation to insufficient sanitary facilities, overcrowding and lack of any fire prevention or safety measures.

Judge McElrea accepted that a fire at the academy could have had catastrophic consequences and said the potential for harm was “very great”. He considered the significant fine was in keeping with the serious safety risk posed to those living at the academy.

The Columbus Academy came to national prominence in January when a youth living at the Academy was allegedly beaten to death. Police have laid charges against other youths living at the Academy.

After this incident, the Council (which had several times previously investigated the Academy in relation to District Plan compliance) and the NZ Fire Service launched a new investigation into claims of overcrowding and fire risk. It was this investigation that led to the prosecution against Mr Kanamori and the Columbus Academy.

The Academy is now closed.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
K Emma Ng's Old Asian, New Asian

This book, written by a young second-generation Chinese New Zealander, gives many examples of the racism that Asian New Zealanders experience. More>>