The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre will have to defend itself in court over its role in the Mangatepopo tragedy.
Six students and one teacher from Auckland's Elim Christian College died at OPC in April when they were surprised by a flash flood while canyoning on the Mangatepopo Gorge.
The Department of Labour announced yesterday it would be prosecuting OPC, following an investigation into the tragedy.
"The Department considers that there were steps OPC should have taken to better ensure the safety of the group on the day," central regional manager of health and safety services Mike Munnelly said.
OPC will face two charges related to its obligations to protect the group's instructor, one relating to its obligation to ensure its employees' actions did not expose others to avoidable risks, and a fourth relating to its obligation to ensure the safety of other people in its workplace.
Mr Munnelly said the Department acknowledged the tremendous dignity and strength shown by the survivors, and the victim's families and friends despite the trauma they had suffered.
"Prosecution action is not commenced lightly by the department, and we appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone involved in this tragic event," he said.
"But seven people lost their lives that day and several others were put in serious danger, so it is important that someone is required to answer what the department says were failures to better ensure the safety of the group."
Mr Munnelly said he hope the prosecution would prevent others from suffering a similar loss in the future.
The charges were laid in Wellington, but will be filed in the Taumarunui District Court because of its proximity to OPC.
If found guilty, OPC could face a fine of up to $250,000 per offence and reparation payments to the victims.