Tony Te Ripo

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
28 April 2014
 
Plea:
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Guilty
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(1): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(2) and (3): Withdrawn
 
Decision:
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Convicted
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(1): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(2) and (3): Withdrawn
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$10,000

Safety lessons learned:
  • Ensure an adequate risk assessment is undertaken for training dives;
  • Ensure appropriate measures are in place to check the background of trainees in the context of training dives and that all pre-requisite requirements are met; and
  • When concerns are noticed regarding a trainee’s competency or they fail an assessment, ensure additional measures are taken such as suspending the course until competency requirements are met and providing additional supervision.

Defendant name:
Tony Te Ripo
 
Industry:
Education and training
 
Date of offence:
28 April 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant was contracted to provide diver training services for occupational diver training courses. On the day of the incident, the Defendant was in charge of activities.

The victim was taking part in a training course based at Lake Puketerini, Huntly. The victim did not meet the preliminary requirements for the course of having logged ten eligible dives and failed to complete a 200m swim test on the day of the incident, to the extent he had to be assisted ashore. He had not completed mandatory first aid assessment and certification prior to diving. He was also observed having difficulties dressing into his scuba equipment. On the day of the incident, the first day of week two of the course and the first day of diving, there were poor visibility conditions. The trainees lost sight of the supervisor in the Lake. After about six minutes in the water, the victim was observed at the surface without his dive mask or breathing regulator and appearing to be in distress. The required risk assessment that was completed prior to the dive was inadequate in a number of critical areas.

The victim was found at the bottom of the Lake by another trainee after a search lasting several minutes. Attempts on the shore to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. The cause of death was drowning.
 
 
Offence section:
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 x2
• Sections 17 and 49(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
• Sections 17 and 49(2) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Hamilton - District Court
 
Plea:
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Guilty
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(1): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(2) and (3): Withdrawn
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Convicted
• Sections 17 and 50(1)(a): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(1): Withdrawn
• Sections 17 and 49(2) and (3): Withdrawn
 
Fine imposed:
$10,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
Payable by NZSOS - $150,610.50 ($125,000 emotional harm reparation plus $25,610.50 for financial costs incurred by the family)