CentrePort worker's fall: Court orders fines and payments over $800,000

6:55 pm on 19 June 2019

The death of a Wellington port worker in 2017 has led to fines and payments from the company totalling more than $800,000.

Centreport Wellington

CentrePort in Wellington. Photo: 123rf

The worker, Teihi Whaanga, was using a ladder to get up on the roof of a container repair facility on 31 January 2017 when he fell and hit his head on the concrete below.

He died in hospital two weeks later on 13 February.

The judge in the case said the company had failed to develop a safe system for workers to repair the containers.

Wellington District Court fined the company $506,048 and ordered it to also pay $150,952 in reparation to the man's family on top of the $150,026 it had already paid them.

Worksafe said there were numerous health and safety failings that led to the man's death, with spokesperson Simon Humphries saying the ladder was not properly secured and there was no edge or fall protection.

Mr Humphries said the accident was foreseeable and avoidable.

CentrePort said it extended its deepest sympathies and remorse to the family of the man, who died after "a tragic work accident".

"Port workers continue to think of Teihi every day and his legacy lives on in the ongoing commitment to health and safety on the port."