Kiwi lineman killed at work

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 07/04/2014
Kane Maxwell
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BEAUTIFUL MAN: Cambridge man Kane Maxwell died while working as a high voltage lineman in Perth on Friday.

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A former Cambridge man working as a lineman in Perth has been killed, leaving behind a 1-year-old son, and a devastated fiancee and whanau.

Kane Maxwell was described by his whanau as a "beautiful man" who celebrated his son's first birthday a month ago and had an imminent wedding to prepare for.

Maxwell was killed in a workplace accident at Jurien Bay, 200 kilometres north of Perth on Friday afternoon (NZ time). He was 24.

He worked as a rigger on high voltage powerlines in Western Australia, his aunt, Manawa Maxwell, said.

"We all feel like a knife has been stabbed in us and twisted and our gut has been ripped out," she said.

Worksafe Australia inspectors were sent to the building site to investigate the incident. It is understood Maxwell was electrocuted.

"He works on those big powerlines," Manawa Maxwell said.

"His uncle rang back and said he was electrocuted."

Workmates tried for two hours to resuscitate him but to no avail.

He was then taken to Perth to the medical examiner's office.

Maxwell's Cambridge-based parents, Mo and Rowena Maxwell, have made the harrowing trip to Western Australia to not only bless the site where he died, but with hopes of bringing their son back to New Zealand.

Maxwell was engaged to Annie Severtson and the couple had a young son, Kasyn.

The whanau would have to decide what would happen with Maxwell's body but the whanau in New Zealand were desperate to get him home again.

But Manawa Maxwell said they would have to wait and see.

"Hopefully he is coming home. It's just a waiting game for us."

Maxwell and Severtson had originally planned to be married on April 5 but postponed their wedding because a family member had surgery and could not travel.

Manawa Maxwell said they had a close family and when Kasyn was born, they all went to greet the new arrival.

"All of the family, the mokos and all, went over when she had her baby and they were there for the birth."

Maxwell grew up in Cambridge, attending Cambridge High School and was a "sporty boy" who played softball and rugby for Leamington Rugby Club.

His former team-mates were equally heartbroken by his death, she said.

"The whole lot - they just can't speak, the lot of them can't speak - they are just devastated.

"He had thousands of friends, he was just a normal kid growing up.

"Love for everybody, love for all of the mokos and everything like that."

Maxwell had been in Australia for three years, going there with two of his best friends.

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He was a guy who who "loved everybody and everything", she said.

"He always laughed and would take you anywhere, you know what I mean, one of those boys."

Facebook comments poured in from around New Zealand and Australia, including a stirring tribute from workmates at Pro Rig.

"I stand offering love and support to Annie and Kasyn through this time of sadness having a partner and a father taken from their grasp, keep close to those you love and who love you, remember the bro will have his wings of protection wrapped around you and Kasyn, guiding you both on the journey to recovery, God bless . . ." 

- Waikato Times

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