Local History

Icepak investigator honoured

Jun 1st, 2012 | By

The Labour Department expert who investigated the Icepak fire at Tamahere has been honoured.

Keith Stewart, one of the department’s leading health and safety experts, has been given a lifetime achievement award for his 35 years of dedication to workplace health and safety in New Zealand.

He was honoured for his contribution and commitment to health and safety at this year’s Workplace Health and Safety Awards gala dinner in Auckland on Thursday.

More deaths without gas controls warns industry

May 7th, 2012 | By

More regulation is needed to prevent a recurrence of the Tamahere Icepak tragedy, says a leader in the refrigeration industry.

“We need more regulation to prevent similar tragedies,” says Rob Morgan, chair of the Climate Control Companies Association. “What is in place is little known and insufficient.

“There is licensing for many trades, including plumbers, roofers and electricians; the person who fills up your gas bottle at the petrol station needs to be an approved HSNO filler, but anyone can install flammable refrigerants into a large system.”

Lovell last coolstore blast victim hopes coroner

Mar 22nd, 2012 | By

Just two weeks short of the fourth anniversary of the tragic Icepak Coolstores explosion Hamilton Coroner Peter Ryan has released his findings on the death at Tamahere of senior firefighter Derek Lovell.

Derek Lovell, 49, died of traumatic injuries from an explosion on April 5, 2008 at the Devine Rd coolstore facility when he and seven other firefighters responded to a fire alarm triggered by a major leak of highly flammable LPG refrigerant.

Following an inquest held over three-days in September 2011 the Coroner made a number of recommendations designed to prevent further deaths occurring in similar circumstances.

Riverlea owners lie in Tamahere

Feb 21st, 2012 | By

Tamahere’s historic cemetery contains the graves of The Rev Joseph Clark and his wife, Ethel Mary Ball Clark, long-term owners of Riverlea, the historic homestead that still stands in the suburb that took its name.

Joseph Clark, born in 1853, and Ethel Clark, born in 1856, were married in Auckland in 1902. Ethel bought Riverlea on October 9, 1913.

Historic hall on the move

Jan 20th, 2012 | By

Tamahere’s 90-year-old hall is on the move.

Members of the Taupiri Marae have been preparing the hall to shift to Taupiri all week after they acquired the one-time war memorial hall for just $1.

The Waikato District Council had previously tried to sell the hall, including listing it on Trade Me but got no takers.

Landmark tale rolls up

Oct 12th, 2011 | By

The Waikato Times has re-told the story of the landmark Roller on a stick, the 1968 Silver Shadow that is a very distinctive sign of Riverlea Wreckers and Tamahere.

The Rolls Royce has been up on its pole for 20 or 25 years, the idea courtesy of Riverlea’s owner Bryce Lovegrove.

Gas fears spread to UK

Oct 7th, 2011 | By

Concerns have been raised by British refrigeration engineers over the flammable nature of next-generation refrigerants like the one that caused the fatal 2008 explosion at Tamahere.

RAC, the UK Refrigeration and Air Conditioning magazine, reported that industry concerns were growing over a surge in the use of flammable refrigerants and a lack of controls over who could buy them.

“It follows an inquest in New Zealand which heard that the refrigeration industry there does not have enough skilled staff to deal with the imminent growth of flammable hydrocarbons.”

World monitors Tamahere event

Sep 14th, 2011 | By

Tamahere was put on the world map by the 2008 Icepak tragedy and the aftermath continues to attract global interest.

“A Coronial Inquest into the world’s most severe incident involving hydrocarbon refrigerants in New Zealand has been held recently,” reports hydrocarbons21.com.

Reports to inquest lift wraps

Sep 9th, 2011 | By

Reports provided to this week’s inquest into the death of firefighter Derek Lovell are comprehensive accounts of the events leading up to and on the day of the 2008 tragedy that are not widely known.

The Fire Service released its report in September 2008 but the more detailed Labour Department report into the explosion and fire more than three years ago has been under wraps until now. The reports are available on Tamahere Forum.

Refrig engineer pleads for regulation

Sep 8th, 2011 | By

An engineer has slammed the refrigeration industry for a lack of standards that he says allows virtually anyone to install a refrigeration system without any monitoring.

Brian Jackson, a professional engineer and member of the Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers, gave evidence at the inquest into the death of senior firefighter Derek Lovell at Tamahere in 2008.