Charges over Taranaki climbing tragedy

Last updated 12:35 07/02/2013
paritutu stand
CAMERON BURNELL
Three people died after falling into the sea during a Topec-run traverse of Paritutu rock.

Relevant offers

National

Multinational Medtronic uses sick Kiwis in PR campaign to win taxpayer-funded blood clot prevention contracts from Pharmac Doug Healey: The man who learned to walk again Kiwi mums offered hope after in utero spina bifida surgery breakthrough Jonathan Milne: Our athletes who trained so hard are the losers in these disintegrating Olympic Games Stroke victim 'ignored' by doctor has lost most of his vision in one eye First Crossfit Nationals hosted in New Zealand Faces of Innocents: Children's teams - the ambulance at the top of a precarious cliff Arrests made after robbery of Palmerston North tobacconist and dairy Digger rescued from surf on Kapiti Coast Star spangled shoot 'em ups bringing big bucks to Kiwi countryside

Charges have been laid against the Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre (Topec) in relation to three deaths in August's Paritutu tragedy.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Health and Safety Group said it laid four charges in New Plymouth District Court today alleging Topec failed in its safety obligations to its employees and students.

Instructor Bryce Jourdain, 42, and Spotswood College students Felipe Melo, of Brazil, and Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye, both 17, were swept off Paritutu Rock and drowned on August 8 during a Topec-led traverse in bad weather conditions.

The centre is charged with:

* failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employee Bryce Jourdain;

* failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that a volunteer instructor from Germany was not exposed to hazards of high and powerful seas in his place of work;

* failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of its employee while at work harmed any other person;

* as a person who controlled a place of work failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no hazard that arose in the place of work - high and powerful seas - harmed people who were in the place with its express consent and who had paid to undertake an activity there.

On the morning of August 19, Melo's body was found in the water intake of the Contact Energy power station near Port Taranaki.

Kahukaka-Gedye and Jourdain have not been found, but have been farewelled with public memorials.

Police carried out  a separate investigation in December last year which resulted in no charges being laid against any of the parties involved.

At the time, Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward said there had been no evidence of criminality.

Topec also has an independent party conducting an internal investigation.

Ad Feedback

- Taranaki Daily News

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content