Employer charged over guard's killing

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 16:59 21/06/2012
Karamjit Kaur
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax Media
KARAMJIT KAUR: The mother of Charanpreet Dhaliwal has flown to New Zealand to visit the site where he died.

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The employer of a security guard killed at an Auckland construction site has been charged in relation to the death.

Charanpreet Dhaliwal, 22, was killed on his first night of work at a Henderson construction site last November.

Hateni Kaufusi Latu, 27, has been charged with his murder.

Dhaliwal's Ellerslie-based employer CNE Security has been charged with failing to secure his safety, the Department of Labour said.

The Council of Trade Unions has also taken out a personal grievance claim with the Employment Relations Authority, claiming unjustified disadvantage, CTU president Helen Kelly said.

"The circumstances which put him on that worksite are really some of the most outrageous."

As a mother she would not have let her son work on the remote site which had been burgled previously, Kelly said.

"The fact that Charanpreet was here without his mum, without anybody to check on that, he probably assumed New Zealand law would keep him safe. It's an absolutely shocking work site there."

Kelly said the union was alleging, based on police evidence, Dhaliwal did not have a health and safety briefing, didn't have communication equipment and was only shown around the site  he was securing at 10.30pm on the night he died.

A MOTHER'S FEARS

Dhaliwal's mother, Karamjit Kaur, is in New Zealand to visit the scene of her son's death and to speak with police.

The union will meet her on Monday.

Kaur said today that she believed her son's worksite was unsafe and if any of his family were in New Zealand they would not have let him take the job.

Speaking through a translator, she said she wanted to see the face of his alleged killer.

She wanted to see the face of her son, who she knew was a generous, decent and good man, and compare it to the face of the man who allegedly took his life.

''What's the difference between them? They both are humans,'' she said.

''I want to compare how one human can [allegedly] do that to another human without any reason.

''If they were asking for money or anything they could do that without hurting him.''

Kaur said she also felt sorry for the alleged killer's family and said it was his partner and child who would also pay the price should he be found guilty of the killing.

A dignified and deeply religious woman with her head wrapped in a scarf, she said her son was happy in New Zealand but she constantly worried about him, always asking where he had been and what time he was going to bed.

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They spoke on Skype the day before he was killed and he tried to calm her nerves.

''He was showing on Skype that his place was fully secured with alarms.

''He tried to explain to me that he was fine and not afraid to be here. He was very happy.''

She had wanted her son to study in Canada or the USA where she had family but he had refused.

''He said 'No, Mum, New Zealand is the safest place, I would prefer to go to New Zealand'.''

The devout Sikh's plan was to bring his brother over on a student visa to study business but Kaur had since decided her other son would not come.

She said she prayed every day that those responsible for his death would be brought to justice but had thought that after so long it might not happen.

Kaur said she was surprised when she heard the news of the arrest. She wanted anyone who was involved in her son's death or who had information to come forward.

"This could happen to any other family, regardless of what ethnicity they are."

Kelly said the union had also made a successful ACC claim to cover Dhaliwal's funeral costs.

Initially the Sikh community had fundraised to cover the costs.

- Auckland Now

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