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NEMA Awarded Legal Costs After WorkSafe Charges Tossed

The National Emergency Management Agency has been awarded $40,000 in legal costs.

The decision to award costs was made in the Auckland District Court last Wednesday, by Judge Evangelos Thomas.

It comes after WorkSafe’s attempt to prosecute the agency, after the 2019 Whakaari White Island eruption.

NEMA's charge, was dismissed last year.

A new decision by Judge Thomas has revealed NEMA faced significant costs fighting the charge.

Judge Thomas said, WorkSafe's accepted the complexity and scale of this case, resulted in high costs.

The decision also revealed, WorkSafe promised not to prosecute NEMA, but went and did so anyway.

Judge Thomas said, Worksafe's decision to change its mind was not made in bad faith.

He said, the health and safety watchdog was right to debate internally, about whether to charge NEMA.

Judge Thomas also said, there's a high public interest in ensuring those who might be liable were charged.

He adds, prosecution agencies should not become impotent, because they fear costs awards.


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