11 Mar 2015

Court reduces forestry foreman's fine

5:23 pm on 11 March 2015

A forestry foreman fined over the death of a worker has had his penalty slashed by $20,000.

Robert Epapara

Robert Ruri-Epapara Photo: Supplied

Robert Ruri-Epapara died after being hit by a tree felled in a forest near Rotorua in March 2013.

Major Nelson, who felled the tree, previously pleaded guilty to failing to take all practical steps to ensure worker safety.

He was ordered to pay $15,000 reparation and was fined $35,000.

The High Court has ruled that the fine was "manifestly excessive" and reduced it to $15,000.

Complete Logging, in which Nelson was a shareholder, was earlier ordered to pay $135,000.

An inquest into Mr Ruri-Epapara's death was held in Rotorua last month, as part of a joint inquiry into eight forestry deaths in 2012 and 2013.