27 Mar 2013

Rotorua man killed by falling tree named

11:19 pm on 27 March 2013

Police have named a 23-year-old forestry worker who died after being hit by a falling tree near Rotorua.

Robert Arapeta Epapara, of Rotorua, was killed as he was felling trees in a forest block at Hauparu Bay, Lake Rotoiti, on Tuesday.

Police and Department of Labour inspectors are investigating the accident.

The FIRST union says the death shows health and safety standards in the industry are not working.

It says between 2008 and 2012, 21 forestry workers died at work and more than 800 were seriously injured.

The union says every death is preventable and is supporting a call from the Council of Trade Unions for an inquiry into forest safety.