3 Sep 2014

Manslaughter charge over forestry death

7:08 pm on 3 September 2014

A man has been charged with manslaughter after a worker died in a tree felling operation near Levin last December.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Lincoln Kidd was killed when he was hit by a falling tree while working in a forestry block.

A 46-year-old Horowhenua man has been arrested and will appear in the Levin District Court tomorrow.

The man already faces charges of health and safety breaches laid by Worksafe New Zealand in June, in relation to the accident.

At the time, the workplace safety regulator also charged another person, and a company, over the death.

Mr Kidd's family said they were relieved someone had been charged with manslaughter.

They said the forestry industry needs to be reformed in order to make it safer, and the development sent a very strong message to forestry employers.

Last year 10 forestry workers were killed on the job, triggering an angry response from trade unions and an independent review of the sector's safety record.

Unions are taking a private prosecution against a Tokoroa forestry company over the death of a worker last year that the Government's safety regulator declined to prosecute.

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