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New Zealand Files Charges in Response to Fatal Incidents at Ports

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2871
May 12, 2023

Following two tragic incidents that occurred last April, New Zealand has taken legal action by filing charges in relation to the fatalities at its ports.

The investigations were initiated following the deaths of Atiroa Tuaiti at the Ports of Auckland on April 19, 2022, and Donald Grant at the Port of Lyttelton on April 25 of the same year.

Maritime NZ, the authority responsible for maritime safety in New Zealand, has brought forward charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). Wallace Investments, the stevedoring company, is now facing one charge in connection with the death of Tuaiti. The incident occurred when Tuaiti was tragically crushed by a container while carrying out work on a docked container ship.

Regarding the death of Mr. Grant, Maritime NZ has filed two HSWA charges against the Lyttelton Port Company. The incident took place on April 25, 2022, when Grant was struck by coal during the loading process into a vessel’s hatch.

Expressing condolences to the families affected by these tragic events, Kirstie Hewlett, the Director of Maritime NZ, emphasized the importance of workplace safety. She stated, “Everyone deserves to go home safely from work each day,” she said.

In response to these incidents, the Minister of Transport, Hon Michael Wood, requested the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group to provide guidance on collective actions to address safety concerns within New Zealand ports. This led to the development of the Ports Sector Insights Picture and Action Plan, which includes regulatory standards aimed at reducing harm in port environments.

Hewlett commended the efforts of the leadership group, stating that their work reflects the high priority placed on port safety in New Zealand. She further explained that significant progress has been made since the implementation of the Action Plan, with various actions already underway to enhance port safety.

As the legal proceedings unfold, New Zealand remains committed to ensuring the well-being of workers within its ports and preventing future tragedies. The charges filed serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining stringent safety measures and adhering to regulations to safeguard the lives of those working in maritime environments.

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