The employer and friend of a Motueka man crushed to death by 1500kg of granite has been fined nearly $120,000.

In the Nelson District Court last week, Trevor Neil Dreaver, 59, was ordered to pay $118,500 in fines and reparation after Raymond Hibbs was killed when a load of granite slabs fell on him at Quaystone Ltd, in Motueka, in September last year, the Nelson Mail reported.

Dreaver faced two charges of failing to take steps to ensure Mr Hibbs, 55, was not exposed to hazards while unloading the granite slabs.

Judge Denys Barry said Dreaver and Mr Hibbs worked the business together and were very close.

It was clear Dreaver was remorseful and traumatised by what had happened. He had done everything possible to support Mrs Hibbs and her daughter, he said.

"What I really see is a picture of a two-man operation where familiarity with the handling of these materials probably put both Mr Dreaver and Mr Hibbs into a level of complacency as a result of years of operating without incident and underlying that was a lack of systems and procedures to cope with the unexpected."

Judge Barry ordered Dreaver to pay $75,000 in reparation and fined Quaystone Ltd $42,000. Dreaver was also fined a further $1500 as director of Quaystone Ltd.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Hibbs said no financial compensation could diminish the reality of her husband's death.

- NZPA