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. All but one 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 made a series of procedural mistakes that caused the platform to collapse. Minister of Conservation Denis Marshall resigned in May 1996 after overseeing changes to the department to ensure that no similar disaster occurred in future.

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How to cite this page:

Alan Simpson, 'Commissions of inquiry - Conducting inquiries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by Alan Simpson, published 20 Jun 2012