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NZ Forestry Manslaughter Charged Pleads Not Guilty

The man facing New Zealand’s first forestry-related manslaughter charge has pleaded not guilty and will head to trial next year. Sources: Manawatu Standard, Stuff Co NZ

Foxton man Paul Robert Burr, 46, appeared in the High Court at Palmerston North charged with the manslaughter of Lincoln Kidd.

Kidd, 20, was crushed by a falling pine tree while working with others on a forestry block between Levin and Foxton in December last year. He was the 10th forestry worker killed at work last year.

It is alleged that Burr caused the death of Kidd by failing to take reasonable precautions to avoid danger while operating a tree-felling mechanical harvester.

Burr also faces Health and Safety in Employment Act charges, laid by WorkSafe New Zealand, in relation to the incident.

His company has been charged, along with a further individual.

Justice Simon France granted an application by the Crown to have the WorkSafe charges heard alongside the criminal charge.

The trial was set down for August next year. Burr was remanded on bail until a case review date in November.

Kidd’s mother, Lesley Kidd, previously said the manslaughter charge would make the forestry sector and other industries realise the responsibility for employee safety lay with everyone.