The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) has come to the aid of a mother who couldn't afford a headstone for her deceased son.

This follows a report over the weekend that part-time nurse Selina Eruera was unable to raise the necessary funds after the forestry company her son, Eramiha Pairama, was working for at the time of his death had been liquidated and not paid reparations to the family.

The logging company, Puketi Logging, was ordered in 2015 to pay the family $75,000 in reparations for a forestry accident that took the life of Pairama in 2013.

A month after sentencing, the company was put into liquidation at the request of company owner Lawrence Harper and the Eruera family has since received no compensation.


The liquidators' first report showed the company owed a total of $100,000, comprising the $75,000 reparation amount and a $25,000 fine. In addition, the company also had a debt of $51,000 in relation to loans and current accounts.

The final liquidators' report said that the company did make payment to the Ministry of Justice towards the penalties arising from the death of Pairama, but that this represented only a small portion of the fines and reparations awarded against the company.

The report said there were no surplus funds available as part of the liquidation to pay the outstanding amount.

CTU responded to the news by launching a fundraising drive, which raised $6,000 overnight.

"Eramiha's death and his mother's heartache was preventable, he was working in an unsafe environment without support and that's why the judge ordered $75,000 family reparation plus a $25,000 fine," said CTU secretary Sam Huggard.

Huggard expressed frustration at the fact that Harper was still running another logging company, Harper Logging, despite failing to pay the money due to the family.

"The financial suffering Selina has endured should also be preventable," Huggard said.

"The owners are still successfully trading under another company with no sign of meeting their obligation to her. Justice for people killed at work and their families shouldn't rely on charity."


Huggard also called on the Government to look into laws that meant companies do not have to meet responsibilities by going into liquidation.