15 Oct 2008

Outdoor centre charged over canyoning deaths

7:59 am on 15 October 2008

The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre is being prosecuted over the deaths of six students and a teacher in April.

The group from Auckland's Elim Christian College drowned while canyoning the Mangetepopo Gorge, near Tongariro National Park, in the central North Island.

The Department of Labour is taking action against the centre, claiming there were steps it should have taken to ensure the group's safety.

Four charges have been laid under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

The first hearing is likely to be in four to six weeks.

If convicted, the centre faces a maximum fine of $750,000 and making compensation payments to the families of the victims and survivors.