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


School convicted after fatal accident

Media release

5 December 2012

School convicted after fatal accident

Motueka High School Board of Trustees were convicted today at Nelson District Court following the death of child on the school grounds earlier this year and ordered to pay reparation of $60,000.

Five unsafe trees on the school grounds had been felled and cut into logs which were then stacked on the school grounds. A group of children were playing on the logs after school hours when the stack became unstable and one of the logs became dislodged and rolled onto a child killing him.

The Board of Trustees were found to have breached section 15 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 in that it had not taken all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harms any other person.

Francois Barton, General Manager Health and Safety, Southern Division, said: “Although the felling work had been carried out by professional contractors they had not been asked to stack the logs which the school intended to sell for firewood. Instead this task was left to a member of staff.

“Stacking logs requires an appropriate level of training if it is to be done safely. In this case as the employee did not have any training the safest option would have been to simply lay them on the ground over a larger area rather than attempt to stack them. Alternatively they could have instructed the contractor to do it safely. Had the school had robust health and safety procedures in place and had the Board of Trustees had a good understanding of their legal obligations this accident may have been prevented.

“For the school this was not a common task and in order to ensure that all practicable steps were taken to reduce harm they should have sought professional advice for the entire process. As they didn’t, a tragic and unavoidable fatality occurred.”

Under section 8(4) of the Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Act the court may not sentence the defendant to pay a fine.


Notes to Editors:

• The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available online:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news