Dive school to pay $200,000 after death

Intueri chief executive Rob Facer.
Intueri chief executive Rob Facer.

Intueri Education Group, whose Quantum Education Group unit is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, has been ordered to pay another $150,000 in reparation and costs to the family of the student who died at its diving school in 2014.

The Auckland-based company will pay $125,000 in reparation to the student's family and $26,000 towards their costs, on top of a $54,000 fine, it said in a statement.

Intueri subsidiary New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies, which trades as NZ School of Commercial Diver Training (NZSCDT), pleaded guilty to one charge laid by WorkSafe New Zealand under the Health and Safety in Employment Act in November, and the judgment was delivered on February 29.

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"This was a tragic incident where a young man lost his life and we again extend our sincere condolences to the family of Mr Moien," chief executive Rob Facer said.

"We recognise it is our responsibility to ensure students have the necessary qualifications and abilities to undertake a course, and have introduced even further checks and processes at the NZSCDT to verify a student's suitability for a course and to prevent events such as this happening again."

Intueri had to amend its prospectus in May 2014 after the incident, which occurred during its initial public offering.

The company considered the possibility of any improvement notice, prohibition notice, or prosecution "very unlikely", according to the amended offer document, with the most adverse scenario that the diving school's reputation could be "materially adversely affected which could reduce student demand."

We recognise it is our responsibility to ensure students have the necessary qualifications and abilities to undertake a course, and have introduced even further checks and processes at the NZSCDT to verify a student's suitability for a course and to prevent events such as this happening again.

The company had taken a $175,000 provision in relation to the charge as at December 31, and had recognised provisioning expenses of some $400,000 in the 2014 calendar year.

The dive school death was the first of a series of issues besetting the training school provider, with the Financial Markets Authority giving the company a warning that its 2014 prospectus could have been clearer, its Quantum school being looked at by the Serious Fraud Office, while the Tertiary Education Commission reviews funding for Quantum and the Dive School.

The shares last traded at 42.5 cents, and have slumped 41 percent this year. They were sold at $2.35 apiece in the 2014 IPO.

- BusinessDesk

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