Ports of Auckland has pleaded guilty to a health and safety charge after one of its workers died from a crane accident nearly two years ago.
During the early hours of August 27, 2018 a straddle truck - a huge freight-carrying vehicle capable of lifting and transporting shipping containers - tipped over.
Inside was the driver, Laboom Midnight Dyer, trapped and badly injured.
Emergency services rushed to the scene on Fergusson Wharf at about 3.45am.
The 23-year-old was extracted from the wreck and taken to Auckland Hospital in a critical condition.
But Dyer died a week later from his injuries.
The port's container terminal was temporarily closed for an investigation and ultimately WorkSafe laid charges in 2019.
Yesterday in the Auckland District Court, Ports of Auckland's lawyer Jennifer Mills pleaded guilty on the company's behalf during a short hearing before Judge Brooke Gibson.
The guilty plea was to one charge under sections 36 (1) (a), and 48 (1) and (2) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, a WorkSafe spokesperson told the Herald.
The charge relates to primary duty of care and failing to comply with duty that exposes an individual to risk of death or serious injury or serious illness. A charge of reckless conduct was dismissed by consent between the two parties.
The Auckland Council-owned organisation faces a maximum fine of $1.5 million when it is sentenced, however, a date is yet to be set.
Further details about the events which led to Dyer's death are expected to be revealed at that time.
Yesterday's admission comes after Ports of Auckland was fined $424,000 by the Auckland District Court last month for breaching harbour speed limits after one of its pilot boats was involved in the "tragic accident".
Leslie Gelberger, a Westlake Girls' High School teacher, died in April 2017 after being struck by a Ports of Auckland pilot boat while swimming off Narrow Neck Beach and Cheltenham Beach.
The speeding breaches were described in court as a "systemic failure" and involved continuous speeding breaches by Ports of Auckland-operated vessels on 99 per cent of voyages between April 2017 and January 2018.
Gelberger's wife Laura McLeod told the Herald of the relief she felt that the court process had finally ended but was disappointed it took years of legal battle before the company finally took responsibility for her husband's death.
While Dyer's family has not wished to talk with media, they have said the young man saved six lives through his organ donation.
A Ports of Auckland spokesman said the company would not comment before sentencing.
However, after Dyer's death Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson said: "We are devastated by this news. This is a terrible time for his family and friends, and we will continue to stand alongside them and support them.
"Everyone who works at Ports of Auckland has been deeply affected by this accident. We have been providing staff with support and we will continue to do everything we can to help people through this difficult time."
The WorkSafe spokesperson said they could not comment further while the case remains before the court.