30 Nov 2020

WorkSafe charges 13 parties over Whakaari eruption

From Checkpoint, 5:06 pm on 30 November 2020

After the largest and most complex investigation WorkSafe has ever carried out, it's laid criminal charges against 13 parties in relation to the Whakaari White Island eruption last December - ten organisations and three individuals.

The agency won't reveal their names, because under New Zealand law they are first given the opportunity to seek name suppression.

The organisations face charges for failing to ensure the health and safety of workers and others, and could face a fine of up to $1.5 million.

Two of them are government bodies - GNS Science and the National Emergency Management Agency, as identified by the Prime Minister.

Three individuals have been charged for failing to ensure their company was meeting its health and safety obligations, and face a $300,000 fine.

Here's RNZ political editor, Jane Patterson.