The Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre has been
charged over the deaths of an instructor and two students in
a rock-climbing accident at Paritutu Rock.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Health
and Safety group laid four charges in the New Plymouth
District Court today alleging the centre failed in its safety
obligations to its employees and students.
Spotswood College students Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye and
Brazilian exchange student Joao Felipe Martins De Melo, both
17, were swept off the rock and into the sea on an outing in
bad weather on August 8.
Bryce John Jourdain, 42, an instructor with the group, dived
into the water in an attempt to save the students but also
The centre is charged with:
* failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety
of its employee Mr Jourdain
* failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that a
volunteer instructor from Germany was not exposed to hazards
of high and powerful seas in his place of work
* failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no
action or inaction of its employee while at work harmed any
* as a person who controlled a place of work failing to take
all practicable steps to ensure that no hazard that arose in
the place of work - high and powerful seas - harmed people
who were in the place with their express consent and who had
paid to undertake an activity there.
The charges have been laid under Sections 6, 15 and 16, with
a maximum penalty $250,000; and Section 50, with a maximum
A ministry spokesman would not say why no charges had been
laid over the boys' deaths and said now the case was before
the court, they would not comment further.