Ports and Logistics

Charges raised against Ports of Auckland over deadly accident

Maritime New Zealand has filed charges against Ports of Auckland and an individual concerning the death of a port worker almost a year ago. Charges were laid in the Auckland District Court today under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The case involves Pala’amo Kalati, who was killed after being crushed when a container was dropped during a lifting operation in August 2020.

Ports of Auckland has been charged with reckless conduct in respect of a health and safety duty, failing to comply with a duty that exposes an individual to the risk of death or serious injury, and adverse conduct for a prohibited health and safety reason. If convicted, it could be fined up to $3m.

An individual, whose identity is not yet known, is also facing multiple charges under the HSWA act.

No court dates have yet been set.

The charges follow an independent health and safety review at the Ports of Auckland commissioned by the owners of the port, Auckland City. The review found systemic problems with the health and safety management culture at the ports.

The former chair of the Ports of Auckland board, Liz Coutts, and the former CEO, Tony Gibson, have both resigned since the death of Kalati.

In December last year, Ports of Auckland was sentenced for their role in the death of another young employee in 2018 and fined over half a million dollars.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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