$6000 raised for family struggling to buy headstone for worker killed on job

Eramiha Pairama was 19 when he died while working for a logging company.
Eramiha Pairama was 19 when he died while working for a logging company. Photo credit: Newshub/ supplied

Part-time nurse Selina Eruera is struggling to pay for a headstone for her son who died at work, after the company he was working for liquidated.

Eramiha Pairama was 19 when he was struck and killed by a log in a forest near Whakatane in 2013, and Puketi Logging was ordered to pay $75,000 in reparations to his family.

But five years later, his family hasn't received a cent of the reparations and they can't afford to buy a headstone for his grave.

Puketi Logging was found guilty of failing to provide a safe working environment, but the company went into liquidation and could not pay the reparations, Stuff reports.

The Council of Trade Unions launched a fundraising drive to help Eramiha's family, and so far $6000 has been raised, but its secretary says people killed at work and their families should not have to rely on charity to get justice.

CTU secretary Sam Huggard said: "Eramiha's death and his mother's heartache was preventable, he was working in an unsafe environment without support... the financial suffering Selina has endured should also be preventable - the owners are still successfully trading under another company with no sign of meeting their obligation to her."

Ms Eruera said she and her family have been let down by the company owners, Worksafe and the justice system.

"We've been struggling for justice for my boy for so long that it feels like it'll never come, the response to what has happened makes it feel like less of a lonely fight. It's good to be reminded that there are still decent people out there, it gives me some hope," CTU quoted her as saying.

Mr Hubbard is calling for the Government to review the circumstances in which company directors and owners can avoid their responsibilities by liquidating.

He also wants the Government to review the support that is available for those who are affected when a company liquidates.