A man has this morning been charged with manslaughter following the death of a teenager during a bridge swing over the Manawatu Gorge earlier this month.

Catherine Peters, 18, a student at Massey University died when she fell over 20 metres on to a riverbed on Saturday, March 7.

She had been one of a group of students from the Massey University Alpine Club taking part in the introductory course at the Ballance Bridge on the Woodville side of the Manawatu Gorge

A 46-year-old man from Palmerston North has now been arrested and will appear in court today.

Police and the Department of Labour launched independent investigations to establish why she fell and to report to the coroner.

Equipment used on the day was seized and officers carried out a thorough examination of the scene, police said today.

They have since consulted with experts and taken detailed statements from over 30 witnesses.

A spokesman said: "The comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of Miss Peters' death has resulted in a criminal prosecution namely the arrest of a 46-year-old man from Palmerston North who has been charged with manslaughter."

Detective Sergeant Allan Mullacrane, the officer in charge of the investigation added: "The case is now sub judice so the detail of our investigative findings will not be disclosed. However I am prepared to say that the manslaughter charge results from our investigation into safety procedures."

The man will appear at Palmerston North District Court later today.

- NZ HERALD STAFF