Tragic end to Jordan's dream

JONATHAN CARSON AND MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2013
Jordan Taurima
IN MEMORY: Jordan Taurima, who was killed in a Queensland mining accident, was known to always greet people with a smile.

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Jordan Taurima moved to Australia for a fresh start, to find work and to provide a good future for his young family, but now two of his sons will never know their dad.

Mr Taurima, 29, who spent most of his life in Cambridge, was killed while doing contract work for an explosives and fertiliser company attached to a Queensland mine about 11am on Wednesday.

Queensland authorities have not said what went wrong but confirmed a full investigation into the death was under way.

A statement from Incitec Pivot, the company for which Mr Taurima was working, said the incident happened near Xstrata's Mount Isa Mines copper smelter.

Mt Isa District Police Superintendent Russell Miller said: "I can't say too much, other than a load on a crane has apparently come loose and caused the death of this young fellow."

Mr Taurima's family, many of whom still live in Cambridge, are devastated by the loss of a man they described as cheeky, charismatic and a "general" on the rugby field.

His father, Richard Taurima, said Jordan left for Australia in October to find work, leaving his three sons - Jacob, 10, Beaudene, 1, and Israel, 10 months - behind.

The two youngest boys "will never know their dad," he said.

"Even though he has held those kids, they're none the wiser."

His eldest, Jacob, broke down when told of his dad's death.

He had been looking forward to visiting him in Australia in April as a surprise for his 30th birthday.

Richard Taurima said Jordan wanted to make a better life for his family, to provide for his sons and he saw Australia as a "fresh start".

Now, he asks himself, ‘What if things had been different?'

"What if he had stayed? The accident would never have happened. What if he had come back for his grandfather's 80th birthday last weekend? What if he had gone to see his brothers? What if?"

He paused before answering his own questions.

"You can't go ‘What if'."

Friends of Jordan, a former Hautapu and Waikato age-group rugby player, are also coming to terms with his death and say he will be sadly missed by the wider Cambridge community.

Long-time friend and rugby colleague Kent Fife, who has known Mr Taurima since intermediate school, described him as energetic and happy to help anyone.

"He was just an amazing guy really," he said. "But most of all he was a great footy player - especially for his size."

Despite Mr Taurima's small frame rugby mates said he played like a man twice his size.

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Hautapu Rugby Club president Mark Terry said Mr Taurima had the ability to "turn a game on its head" through his natural skill and ability to read a game.

"He could make something happen from nothing," Mr Terry said.

"The year we won the Rowe Cup he was captain of the Senior B team and he landed a drop goal from 40 metres out - he could do things like that to change a game.

"He was a neat fella with a cheeky grin and always very respectful when speaking to people."

Shaun Cameron had known Mr Taurima for more than 10 years and said he was shocked to learn of his friend's death.

"It's a bloody shame, he will be really missed."

Both Xstrata and Incitec Pivot are investigating the incident in conjunction with police and the Queensland Department of Mines.

A department spokesperson said: "Mines inspectors will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of this fatality. An investigation report will then be prepared for the coroner."

The latest safety performance and health report by Queensland Mines and Quarries shows there have been four deaths in the state's mining industry since 2010.

The latest death was on June 5 last year when a quarry employee was killed after becoming entangled in a conveyor.

Mr Taurima's body will be brought back to Cambridge for his funeral.

- Waikato Times

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