‘White Island’ Decision: A Workplace Health & Safety New Zealand Case Study

Stay informed about the implications of the New Zealand 'White Island' decisions to stay up to date with the evolving landscape of Workplace Health & Safety in New Zealand—a crucial step for those interested in tracking significant cases from 'across the ditch'.

Wednesday, 26 June 2024
Learning Objectives:


  • Gain valuable update on the White Island decision
  • Examine the outcomes of these cases

Attend and earn 1 CPD hour

12.00pm to 1.00pm ‘White Island’ Decision: A Workplace Health & Safety New Zealand Case Study


On 9 December 2019, a catastrophic volcanic eruption occurred on Whakaari/White Island, as a result of which 22 people died and 25 others were seriously injured.  

Following the incident, New Zealand WorkSafe charged 13 separate parties, including tour operators and their officers, members of the booking supply chain, and those with responsibilities to warn of volcanic risks.  Six defendants pleaded guilty, the charges of a further six were dismissed, and the remaining defendant was found guilty at trial in November 2023.

Examine the outcomes of these cases and reflect upon the lessons to be learned from this tragic incident and the consequent prosecutions, and consider: 

  • Section 36 and 37 duties under the New Zealand Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
  • Overlapping duties of PCBUs and obligations to share information 
  • The meaning of reasonably practicable steps
  • The impact of licence agreements 
  • Expert advice and reliance on specialist information for risk assessments
  • Section 44 duties and the requirement to assess officers’ due diligence obligations on an individual basis

Presented by Helen Pryde, Special Counsel, Buddle Findlay


Helen Pryde, Special Counsel, Buddle Findlay
Helen has expertise across all legal issues relating to health and safety and employment, including WorkSafe investigations and prosecutions, performance management, disciplinary matters and processes (with a particular expertise where issues may overlap with criminal law), restructuring and redundancy, restraints of trade, medical incapacity, and dealing with personal grievances. Helen has significant dispute resolution experience and regularly represents clients at mediation and in court. She is also an accredited mediator and undertakes independent investigations into workplace issues.


‘White Island’ Decision: A Workplace Health & Safety New Zealand Case Study


Single Session
Wednesday, 26 June 2024
12.00pm to 1.00pm New Zealand
CPD Hours 1
Online 20240716 20240626


On Demand 20240716 20240626

On Demand