A King Country company is being prosecuted after one of its employees was killed when a fuel tanker ruptured.

Corboy Earthmovers Ltd will appear in the Te Awamutu District Court in July facing one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act over the death of Terence Milne, 60, of Otorohanga, in November last year.

WorkSafe confirmed one party had been charged but declined to reveal the exact nature of the charge at this stage.

The company's director, Brent Pevreal, appears to have escaped prosecution.


At the time, police confirmed Mr Milne died during a process of transferring bitumen emulsion between two tanks using compressed air. One of the tanks failed and ruptured during the process.

Mr Milne died of severe burns at the scene.

Mr Pevreal did not return the Herald's calls for comment about the prosecution.

The news tops off a rough six months for the company which was placed into liquidation by the Inland Revenue Department last week.

That follows a successful prosecution by the Waikato Regional Council in March in which the Hamilton District Court handed down fines totalling $64,525 to Corboy Earthmovers Ltd and Corboy Forest Management Ltd.

The fines were handed down after the council was alerted to the company's poorly executed forestry harvesting operation in 2014 which saw large amounts of sediment pollute tributaries that fed the Waitomo Stream.

The Waitomo Stream leads to New Zealand attraction, the Waitomo Caves, which has thousands of tourists each year.

The amount of pollution in such a sensitive spot was a travesty, council's investigations officer Patrick Lynch said at the time.

The council investigations found that Corboy's damage to the environment, and the waterways in particular, was "significant and [had] avoidable adverse environmental effects".