Story: Commissions of inquiry

Cave Creek inquiry

News footage shows the scene at Cave Creek in Paparoa National Park on the South Island's West Coast after a Department of Conservation viewing platform collapsed, with tragic results. On 28 April 1995, 14 people were killed and four seriously injured when the platform failed under their weight and fell 30 metres onto a rocky stream bed. Nearly all of the dead and injured were young outdoor-recreation students from Tai Poutini Polytechnic in Greymouth. The group was on a field trip to study limestone caves and rock formations in the park. A commission of inquiry found that the platform had been inadequately constructed by the Department of Conservation, which had made a series of other procedural mistakes that led to the platform collapse. Minister of Conservation Denis Marshall, after overseeing changes to the department to ensure that no similar disaster could occur in future, resigned in May 1996.

Using this item

TV3

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Alan Simpson, 'Commissions of inquiry - Conducting inquiries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/33429/cave-creek-inquiry (accessed 22 October 2019)

Story by Alan Simpson, published 20 Jun 2012