Charges laid against Ports of Auckland over worker’s death

The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming Maritime New Zealand laying charges in the Auckland District Court on Thursday against the Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) and an unnamed individual. These charges are in relation to the death of Mr Pala’amo (Amo) Kalati who was crushed to death at work in 2020.

“It is good that the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) is being used to pursue justice for Mr Kalati and is family. This is the first time that someone has been charged with adverse conduct,” CTU Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges says.

“Mr Kalati was crushed to death. His death was avoidable and totally preventable. The fact that Maritime NZ has completed their investigation and have decided to lay charges signals that there are genuine concerns regarding the employer’s fulfilment of fundamental health and safety obligations.

“All New Zealanders must have confidence that they’ll return home safe to their families at the end of their working day. Regardless of industry or occupation everyone must be safe at work.

“When an employer doesn’t do everything they can to keep people safe, when an employer prioritises profit over people, then the employer must feel the full weight of the law.

“We will watch this case closely as what happened to Mr Kalati must never be allowed to happen again. We hope the law is able to ensure justice is served.”