17 Nov 2015

Farm owners fined after effluent pond death

5:59 pm on 17 November 2015

The owners of a pig farm in Oamaru have to pay $115,000, for not fencing or covering an effluent pond which an employee drowned in.

Bene Poihakena Materoa-Mahu was found dead under a pontoon in the pond in August last year, after he was sent to empty the lake's contents into a tanker truck.

In the Oamaru District Court today, Houtimata Farm Limited was fined $40,000, and reparation of $75,000 was ordered.

WorkSafe chief inspector Keith Stewart said the uncovered pond was an obvious risk, and there was no written procedure for emptying the effluent.

He said Houtimata Farm has since installed a mesh grill over the pond.