Intueri Education Group, New Zealand's largest private training institution, has been charged over the death of a foreign student enrolled at its diving school in April this year.
Worksafe New Zealand has laid charges against Intueri subsidiaries NZ School of Outdoor Studies and Commercial Diver Training under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and regulation, concerning prevention of hazards in the workplace and contractor certification requirements, the company said in a statement. No formal summons has been received.
"The board of Intueri has taken this tragic incident very seriously. Intueri has been fully co-operative with the relevant authorities," it said.
"Upon receipt of the summonses, Intueri will seek the relevant legal advice and update the market as appropriate when further information becomes available."
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Intueri had to amend its prospectus in May after the April 28 incident, which occurred during its initial public offer. The company considered the possibility of any improvement notice, prohibition notice, or prosecution "very unlikely", according to the amended offer document, with the most adverse scenario that the diving school's reputation could be "materially adversely affected which could reduce student demand."
The company said a prosecution under the Health and Safety in Employment Act could result in a maximum fine of $250,000 per breach, with a prosecution for reckless conduct attracting a maximum penalty of $500,000, according to the offer document. A court could also order reparation payments be made to the student's family.
In August, Intueri said it more than tripled first-half profit to $1.6 million in the six months ended June 30 on a 71 per cent gain in revenue to $24.4 million, and was on track to meet its prospectus forecast for full-year earnings.
The shares fell 0.7 per cent to $2.93 yesterday, still ahead of their $2.35 initial public offering price in May.