On 21 February 2020. The victim tragically drowned while on a school field trip at Waihi Beach.

Alleged breach

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, S 36(2), 48(1) and 48(2)(c)

The alleged contravention does not amount to an offence against section 47 (reckless conduct) which would preclude it from being accepted.

Summary of Enforceable Undertaking

  • Financial amends to the victim’s family
  • A support package to assist Education Outdoors NZ
  • The establishment of a peer review service for other schools
  • Targeted water safety initiatives for the benefit of the community
  • This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $260,000

Reasons for Accepting the Undertaking

The enforceable undertaking meets the requirements of WorkSafe’s Enforceable Undertakings Operational Policy (June 2019):

  • The nature of the proposals in the application and the benefits that would be realised to the health and safety system from them: The activities in the enforceable undertaking will provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace; industry; and community.
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and how serious it was.
  • Information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention.
  • Mitigation and remedial action, already taken or planned, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).
  • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation.
  • Any likely outcome if the matter were dealt with by legal proceedings.
    • A charge was filed in relation to this incident on the basis that there was both evidential sufficiency and a public interest in initiating prosecution.
    • The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to Hiway by a prosecution not proceeding.
  • Any other matter which WorkSafe thinks is relevant.
    • The undertaking delivers benefits beyond compliance.
    • The undertaking supports WorkSafe’s strategic objectives.
    • The undertaking contains acceptable terms.

Date accepted

07 December 2021

Further information

View the full Melville High School Board of Trustees undertaking here

Enforceable undertaking - Melville High School Board of Trustees (PDF 3.8 MB)
Enforceable undertaking variation 1 - Melville High School Board of Trustees (PDF 268 KB)
Enforceable undertaking table of amendments - Melville High School Board of Trustees (PDF 99 KB)