Council prosecuted over death of 4-year-old

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Uetaha Dahtanian Ransfield-Wanoa died in October in the tragic tractor-mower accident.
Uetaha Dahtanian Ransfield-Wanoa died in October in the tragic tractor-mower accident.

Hastings District Council is being prosecuted by the Government's workplace safety agency, WorkSafe, over the death last year of a 4-year-old boy who was run over by a council tractor-mower.

Uetaha Dahtanian Ransfield-Wanoa died at Kirkpatrick Park on October 8.

Council chief executive Ross McLeod said the council was advised of the prosecution by WorkSafe this week.

The charge relates to Section 15 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, under which employers need to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harms any other person.

"Council needs to obtain further details on the charge and consider the issues before deciding on the course of action," Mr McLeod said.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the family of the little boy who tragically died in this incident and the tractor driver."

He said because the matter was now before the courts, the council would not be making any further comment.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine.

In February, the driver of the mower, a 72-year-old council employee whose name is suppressed, was charged with reckless driving causing death.

He was has pleaded not guilty and will face a jury trial later this year.

Uetaha, described as cheeky and bubbly, had been looking forward to starting school at Kura Kaupapa o Heretaunga School in Hastings.

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