Company charged over bouncy slide injuries

By Kieran Campbell, Mike Dinsdale -
File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

An owner of a children's entertainment company says she is "extremely remorseful'' for the injury caused to three children when a bouncy slide blew away.

Kerikeri company Trailblazers Northland has indicated it will plead guilty to a charge laid against it after the bouncy slide incident at Whangarei's Heritage Park on November 17.

Melinda Harbour, who owns the company with her partner Neil Sutherland, said they intended to accept the allegation that the slide was not properly secured.

The company's lawyer told Whangarei District Court this week that they intended to plead guilty to the charge of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the inflatable slide was adequately secured and did not cause any harm.

"Trailblazers has ben operating for 20 years in Northland without incident,'' Ms Harbour said.

"We are extremely remorseful and we implemented immediate procedural changes to ensure that this never happens again.''

The company is set to reappear on the charge, laid by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, on July 1.

The incident happened during a gathering of ASB Bank staff at the Whangarei park for an annual children's Christmas party.

Northland St John Ambulance boss Tony Devanney said a wind gust was believed to have picked up the slide and dragged it about 20 metres. Three children were on it and the equipment was believed to have hit another child as it was blown along.

Four children were taken to hospital, Mr Devanney said.

It was understood twin 6-year-old boys suffered broken arms and an 8-year-old girl was concussed.

ASB Bank general manager of public and external relations Christian May said at the time a strong gust appeared to have pulled the slide's tethers from the ground and tipped it over.

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