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A failure of leadership over Pike River

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, January 15th, 2011 - 115 comments
Categories: Conservation, families, Mining, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

This TVNZ report is interesting:

It is not an issue of money or time or commitment,” Key said today.

He said those involved in the operation had done everything they possibly could.

“The machine that was used to make the mine inert was meant to be operational and efficient within five to eight hours. It’s been running for 35 days.

“It’s in the situation where not only does it need to be returned to Queensland because the Queensland government have asked for it back, but actually the engines have burnt out.

“The plan had failed.”

Decision ignores recent progress, says Monk

Monk claims that neither the police nor the expert who addressed the families yesterday were aware of these very recent developments.

He said there have been “considerable successes” in the past few days in stabilising the mine atmosphere.

It seems extraordinary that the decision to stop the recovery came just a day after the announcement that the cracks in the mine had been sealed, preventing oxygen getting in to fuel combustion. This claim that technical issues are insurmountable has come out of nowhere just as things appear to be going better than ever.

He also the families understood that recent improved camera footage demonstrated that where there was thought to have been fire, there was not. He said that meant re-entering the mine would be important for the inquiry.

The families’ lawyer, Nicholas Davidson QC, has written to the Commissioner today asking for an immediate postponement of any decision pending further consideration and consultation.

The families will also engage their own West Coast mining expert.

Monk said the families are not unrealistic, but “a decision of such consequence should be made only with an accurate and up to date appraisal of facts, a full understanding of expert opinions, and with time to absorb the implications of whatever decision is then made”.

Key insisted no promises were made to get the remains of the miners out of the mine and said his sympathies were with the families.

“I know from engaging with those families how important is was for them to get full closure and we would have done whatever we possibly could to allow them to have that final closure.”

Key’s lying. Here are a few examples of what he said:

  • “the government would give whatever support is required”*
  • “for as long as it’s a recovery, we’ll be paying the bill”*
  • “It’s clearly been a large sum of money. But at the end of the day I gave a commitment to the families at Pike River I’d do everything I could to get their men out, I stand by that”*
  • “We are doing everything we can, and we will continue to, within the constraints of safety.”*

It’s one thing for Key to make a rash, overblown promise – we’re getting all too used to it. It’s another to break that promise without consulting and explaining his decision to the families first, or even having the guts to front up until the media pressure got too much. And it is insult heaped upon insult to then claim that he never made any such promise when he clearly did. I don’t know how you live with yourself, playing with people’s emotions like that and then denying all responsibility.

Key’ s had is moment of gravitas for the cameras. Now, National’s strategy is to say ‘move on’ so that the failure to deliver is glossed over. This is reflected in National pollster David Farrar attempting to cover for Key’s failure of leadership and lies by callously and grotesquely dismissing the recovery as not being worthwhile since there will only be “some bones and teeth … it could be just teeth”. The Nats have gone from ‘whatever it takes’ to ‘what’s the point’ in a few short weeks.

As important as closure for the families is, getting back into Pike River isn’t just an issue of recovering the remains of 29 workers who died doing their job.

How will the inquires find out what really went wrong if they can’t inspect the interior of the mine? 29 men died and some very serious charges might be laid as a result. But justice is far less likely to be served if the scene of the deaths can’t be examined.

Are the investors/receivers really prepared to walk away from a $300 million investment and coal resource worth $4 billion after just $5 million has been spent trying to stop the combustion?

And, finally, you can’t just leave a coal seam fire burning under a National Park and emitting untold amounts of greenhouse gases.

The company has $10 million in cash left. Since Key has washed his hands of his promises, that $10 million should be used to try to clean up the mess the company’s mine has caused and get their workers back to the families.

115 comments on “A failure of leadership over Pike River ”

  1. I see Key is denying reneging on his promises in the Herald too. You’ve shown four examples of him making that promise and there are more.

    I guess we’re going to see the righties arguing semantics now – because a legalistic argument over the exact meaning of his words will go down so well on the Coast.

    • ZeeBop 1.1

      Key and National view NZ as a business, government sole purpose is in keeping the economy running, or
      look like they are, and so claim victory and credit for all the hard work citizens make.

      So in that light, Pike River is a huge disaster economically. Worse with the safety guarentees given, assurances that the mine was well run, etc, to have it blow up in our faces is bad bad news.

      But worse! The mine still has not come under control. The coal extracted is especially gassy for coal, yet there was no backup plan in the event of a fire breaking out. This contradicts the guarentees and competence of the management of the mine.

      And so we get back to Key, why would Key feel the the need to give promises and then back track on them. no GST. Because Key is protecting the core National ethos that of distracting from the real elephant in the room, the woeful inadequate way the mine (in heinsight) was managed.

      The mine was hit by a black swan event and like so much of the way the right runs stuff globally they have the tendancy to shift that particular risk off to the workers, to the investors, and away from government for business.
      One could almost say why we don’t get more Pike Rivers! Oop, oh we do, SCF, any number of other financial investment firms collapses. All hurting shareholders, investors, employees, and managers walking away stashed with crash.

      And therein lies Labours dilemma, how to get political funding – hard cash- to run a campaign that shifts the burden back on managers to shape up when the managers have all the cash in the eocnomy! How does Labour force down their bonus packages for poor performance, make the art of finance pay like street art its is, hawkers, beggers?

      Its inevitable anyway, the pie cannot grow if cheap oil doesn’t also grow. Any excess energy saving from citizens and businesses is going straight into paying down debt, and saving for more rainy days. Its now inevitable that bad managers, and the bad National ethos of business can do it – just back the private business sector – and she’ll be right,
      does not work. The evidence of Peak River shows government duty is to insure that business realize the black swan risks on the ledger, and so cannot woddle around telling everyone they have best safety practice, since now nobody would believe anyone who said that about their company! Whose going to invest in such arrogant managers?

      We need to educate the relative lower numbers of young people (during to growing retirement numbers) that we will lose far more money from disasters like Pike River, not only lives, not only lost exports but also loses in investment (and higher premiums to borrow) because nobody wants to fund lazy stupid arrogant managers who hold to such a stifling stupid ethos.

      Basically Key has made a fundamental mistake misdirecting the disaster away from the management, away from the effects of black swans, he should have shown leadership, changed the direction of government away from less government and to better more responsible government ON THE BACK OF THE DISASTER. Now we will all pay higher premiums to borrow money, it will be harder to get ahead in NZ, because of our arrogant lazy management class who know they can’t hack it and that’s why all the defensive postering and posing around neo-liberal lets markets be free. I don’t know why a miner would work in a NZ mine that doesn’t have full Union membership,

  2. Daveski 2

    Even for you eddie this is mining new lows pun intended.

    The issue isn’t money but safety.

    From NZH:

    “Families’ spokesman Bernie Monk, who lost a son in the disaster, said today they believed Mr Broad and Prime Minister John Key were given the wrong information when they said it was too dangerous to carry on with the body recovery.”

    Keep it up eddie. You’re perhaps the best example of why people shouldn’t vote Labour as uninspiring as some of the Nats have been.

    • Tigger 2.1

      Actually Key making pretty speeches and getting photo ops off the back of tragedy then lying about what he promised is the basest thing here.

      • Swampy 2.1.1

        No its not It is key leading the country which is his job.

        Why doesnt everyone admit they hate John Key and that’s what most of these threads are about

        • Tigger 2.1.1.1

          Yes, it’s all because of our personal hatred of John Key…you would love it to be so easy to dismiss arguments as personal attacks but these ones are all about the ball and not the man. Key shouldn’t lie about the promises he made…it’s his lies that are being slammed here.

          • Swampy 2.1.1.1.1

            Lie is the word most often used by politicians yet they have to prove it meets the criteria which is a deliberate act, which of course they never can. Not just in this case of course.

            Realistically the goverment has done everything it possibly could. On the next mountain range over the Strongman mine still burnes after then 1967 distaster with 2 miners bodies sealed inside for ever

            In Queensland the Moura mine was sealed 1994 with 12 bodies inside this explosion was caused by the mine catching alight di to spontaneous combustion with a second explosion a day or so later its decided the mine could not be safely reopened it never has been and the 12 still presumably inside the mine

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Realistically the goverment has done everything it possibly could.

              In Dec the Govt position was that no stone was to be left unturned in the recovery project, it would all be paid for by the Government regardless of the eventual (and expected to be very expensive cost), and we all knew that it could take months of work. But just a few weeks later its all over, pack up and go home, thanks for coming.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Even for you eddie this is mining new lows pun intended.

      The issue isn’t money but safety.

      From NZH:

      “Families’ spokesman Bernie Monk, who lost a son in the disaster, said today they believed Mr Broad and Prime Minister John Key were given the wrong information when they said it was too dangerous to carry on with the body recovery.”

      Keep it up eddie. You’re perhaps the best example of why people shouldn’t vote Labour as uninspiring as some of the Nats have been.

      Hey Daveski: you do know that you just quoted a passage which said that Mr Broad and Mr Key had been given the *wrong* information and that it’s *not* too dangerous to carry on?

      Daveski, any idea why it became too dangerous to work this week, compared to it being OK to keep going last week? I mean what changed there – except for Key saying that the machine had broken down and needed to be fixed? (How is that even a safety issue?)

      Looks like your defence of Key’s failure to live up to his own promises is falling apart.

      • Daveski 2.2.1

        Back the truck up here. When the tragedy happened, IF Key hadn’t made these statements eddie would have been over it like a nasty rash.

        It’s a low form of blogging and while I accept I’m likely to be in a minority here, it simply highlights why Labour is struggling to get any traction if this is seen as a legitimate political discussion.

        Given the moral high ground so easily claimed by the left, it would be reassuring for others here to front up and tell eddie to pull his head in. Pike is not about Key.

        Poor taste, poor judgement.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          So, what changed and how did it become too dangerous this week to keep the recovery operation going, compared to last week Daveski? I mean, you said the decision is all about safety. So what changed, safety wise?

          Back the truck up here. When the tragedy happened, IF Key hadn’t made these statements eddie would have been over it like a nasty rash.

          You’re saying if Key hadn’t been making rash and overblown promises for the benefit of national TV, eddie would have complained that Key should have?

          Ummm…do you really think so?

          Pike is not about Key.

          Even though Key was the one who promised that every effort would be made to recover the bodies, the Government would pay for it all, and just four weeks later the operation has been canned because of machinery failures.

          Shit bro that’s really pulling out all the stops for the Pike River families ain’t it?

          • Craig Glen Eden 2.2.1.1.1

            Dave you are full of it. What are you Keys cousin, wife , boy friend or just blind National party member.

            “Families’ spokesman Bernie Monk, who lost a son in the disaster, said today they believed Mr Broad and Prime Minister John Key were given the wrong information when they said it was too dangerous to carry on with the body recovery.”

            Bernie Monk is clearly being diplomatic. Mr Monk knows what he is being told by both these men is not the truth. Key is digging himself a big whole, he promised big at the time and played with Coasters and NZers emotions. He got positive feed back for his role at the time more good pr for brand Key.Well Daveski now he will get bad pr for lying and not delivering again. Suck it up Dave Labour knows that marginal sets are softening up you can believe the polls all you want but on the ground campaigning says otherwise.

          • Swampy 2.2.1.1.2

            I was privately thinking to myself just this week if the police could notget the mine safe by the end of Janiary it would never happen they may as well pull out

            Now they have come to that bit sooner than maybe I would but they have the day to day involvment with a lot more detail than is reported jn the media.

            Every effort has beem made but the worlds best machinery in current technology will never be able to make this mine safe to enter.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.2

          High horse alert!!

          Are you saying that Key’s performance here is off limits? That people can’t compare his actions to his rhetoric?

          That would mean that the rhetoric was in fact just theatre. He was talking a good game about kiwis being our brothers keepers and what not, and was lauded for that. He decided to personalise his involvement in the issue. He decided to do that.

          Apparently the families heard about the mine being sealed the same way everyone else did, does that match up to his rhetoric?

          What you seem to be saying is that it is wrong to criticise the PM when he makes political capital out of his role when the event happened, and wrong to criticise him when the families he promised to stand by are unhappy at the way he is dealing with it.

          Do you think that the families have any reason to feel aggrieved about the lack of communication given Key’s earlier promises? Or should they just suck it up and accept that they were just scenery in the great smiling and waving whirling spinbrothers circus?

          • Daveski 2.2.1.2.1

            Strangely no one has directed challenged my view that this is poor taste in the extreme. Agree entirely that this is an emotionally-charged issue and the people who matter most now are the families who have suffered the losses. The rest of it is tiresome, tasteless politicking.

            What PM wouldn’t have promised to do everything possible for the families. Clark would have been the first and good on her.

            I have no problem criticising Key for his actions or inactions. Eddie’s post went well beyond that but not one else here will man/woman up and acknowledge it. Your problem, not mine (pun unintended).

            • orange whip? 2.2.1.2.1.1

              What PM wouldn’t have promised to do everything possible for the families. Clark would have been the first and good on her.

              The problem Daveski is not the making of promises, it’s the not keeping of them.

              I have no problem criticising Key for his actions or inactions. Eddie’s post went well beyond that but not one else here will man/woman up and acknowledge it.

              Then cite the offensive passage that has you so incensed. It must be pretty awful seeing as you’ve devoted three comments to definitely not defending Key and yet you still haven’t been able to mention the horrible awful words that have you so upset.

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2.1.2

              Strangely no one has directed challenged my view that this is poor taste in the extreme.

              Go cry me a river.

              Our job on the Left is to make sure the Govt and Key gets off their ass and do what they promised – deliver results and answers to the families involved with Pike River by every means possible. Key made grand promises on national TV. Now its time to deliver.

              What you think is in good taste doesn’t rank on the priority list one whit.

              • Swampy

                This is as good as admiting you are politically opposed to John Key in general isnt it.

                So whether Key has been reasonable or not its all a political game.

                • Lanthanide

                  No, it means if government promises to do A, but later delivers B at the cost of C, and we quite liked C, then we get angry at them both for cutting C and failing to deliver A.

            • andy (the other one) 2.2.1.2.1.3

              Daeski

              Compare and contrast this current thread as opposed to this:

              From what I have read of conditions in the mine, there may not have been much in the way to recover – perhaps some bones and teeth. If the temperatures have been over 1000 degrees as some reports suggest, then it could be just teeth.

              http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/01/pike_river_likely_to_be_sealed.html

              Know tell me which is “in poor taste to the extreme”.

              I will tell you what is poor taste in the extreme, The Prime minister of New Zealand not fronting up and showing leadership (and his world famous in New Zealand empathy with the little guy) by flying in and having the meeting with the families in person as opposed to leaving it up to Mr Broad.

              The same Mr Broad who is retiring so was gleefully thrown under the bus by the 9th floor. One would be foolish to think that this decision was not run by the PM’s office prior to the meeting. So JK wilfully dodged the hard stuff, that is not leadership. Leadership means you actually have to make the hard calls some times and ‘man up’.

              I would be defending Mr Key if he had made the hard choice and told those families in person. Just like a search and rescue operation on land or sea, it can not go on indefinitely. But someone has to make the call and that takes leadership.

              • watching

                Don’t make Howard Broad the martyr. Broad has failed as the Commissioner of Police. He has not implemented Dame Margaret’s findings in her report on police sexual misconduct. Last year OAG confirmed fewer than seven of Dame Margaret’s 40 odd recommendations had been implemented. Broad surrounded himself with senior police officers with a history of sexually predatory behaviour in the workplace. Under Broad’s watch fewer than two out of three female victims of sexual assault went to police for help. Under Broad’s watch there has been a failure in respect of child abuse files, especially in Wellington. Under Broad’s watch we now know that 60% of police staff believe complaints about racial or sexual harassment will not be dealt with properly. Broad was also the Commissioner of Police who invaded Tuhoe. He was also the Commissioner of Police who has argued for search and survellience powers. And, now, he is withdrawing support for Pike River, encouraging that it be sealed, thus covering up any evidence in relation to Police failure at Pike River. Broad has not been thrown under a bus … he is a trainwreck and his form this week is business-as-usual.

          • Swampy 2.2.1.2.2

            I woild just like a lot of people here toadmit that these threads are really about loathing for Jon Key

            • andy (the other one) 2.2.1.2.2.1

              No loathing here.

              Just disappointment, when the going got tough. Key was no where to be found.

              The PM job has some very crappy parts to it, and unfortunately a pattern is forming where Mr Key is always MIA for the tough stuff. Like interviews on radio and tv, fronting up in the ongoing disaster in Christchurch and not having an opinion for 6 long hours after Howard Broad (soon to be retired) told the families the bad news about the mine.

              As Mr hide said, He is a do nothing PM.

            • bbfloyd 2.2.1.2.2.2

              swamp,,, don’t tell me your one of those that can hate a person you’ve never met? that’s just silly… but you can hate the things that they stand for… and feel despair for the victims of the words and actions of said person, but to make it a personal issue is wasteful and pointless. …..

        • john 2.2.1.3

          Daveski
          but its ok for David Farrar to say only some teeth left? isn’t that a low form of blogging?
          they have to put it out at the least, its a national park

      • Swampy 2.2.2

        If they cant maintain the machine and even if they turn it off a few horus the mine becomes dangerously unstable and they cant keep it there forever because its not made for that it has to go back to Australia and have an overhaul and its not doing what they hope it would.

  3. johnm 4

    It’s clear to me at least that the Pike River Mine was a Death Trap waiting to be sprung. The only “safe” way to operate it would have been with the absolute maximum of safety procedures and alarm systems plus maximum possible ventilation. The miners going down would also have to be aware of the loaded risk they were taking on. Obviously none of this happened and a careless attitude led to this preventable disaster.100% safety would have resulted in numerous stop work actions until methane levels were stabilised which would have seriously knocked back profitability.

  4. IrishBill 5

    The issue for me isn’t that the mine is being sealed. It seemed likely from quite early in the piece that this may have to be the case.

    The real issue is the false hope and lies that surrounded the first week of the Pike disaster. It’s one thing for the PM to mislead about the economy or the wage gap or any of the other things he’s said to gain popularity but it’s another thing altogether to say things to grieving family members that you can’t back up.

    Pike was handled dreadfully by the government, they swept in and played heroes and made promises they couldn’t keep.

    Like the government’s interference in the Hobbit dispute, the handling of pike showed a tendency to focus on the short-term photo op at the expense of a decent outcome.

    Unlike their meddling in the Hobbit dispute, however, the cost of this attitude has been more than just a few tens of millions of dollars. It’s been the emotional security of extremely vulnerable Coasters. Frankly the whole debacle has been sickening.

    • Tigger 5.1

      Sums up my feelings IB. Which is why Key getting props for how statesman like he was over this makes me sick. The govt failed here and now will push hard to kill any critique.

      • Swampy 5.1.1

        Wrong
        There is still the Royal Commission to be had
        Ans independent enquiiry with mine safety expertise and total free reign

        What I would like to see is a much wider debate about whether its actually worth while having a mining industry in NZ

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      It’s one thing for the PM to mislead about the economy or the wage gap or any of the other things he’s said to gain popularity but it’s another thing altogether to say things to grieving family members that you can’t back up.

      They’re both lies and they’re both for political gain which pretty much makes them as bad as each other.

    • Swampy 5.3

      The whoe country has watched and waited but it should not be about politics which is becoming more and more it seems

      The Government promised as did every one else that every effort will be made. This one lokks like the Gulf oil spill the massive disaster that took the resource of a huge company like BP and the US goverment to solve.

      Perhaps you might be willing to devote our entire GNP next year to makeing this mine safe but many ordnary people would accept that we are not going to bankrupt our country and millions of living peoples lives for the sake of the Pike river mine, I am sorry having to write that but it is true. The government has made eveyr effort when you consider that there is a coal seam in Australia thats been on fire for 6000 years and many others world wide and at least four others in NZ burning many years that in spite of the wonder GAG and technological advancesments we still do not have what is needed to put out a underground mine fire like this one.

      What I do find sickening is now how it is being turned into a political debate and everuthing that the govermment did or didnt do must now be considered to have been done for political reasons which is certainly not true.

    • Swampy 5.4

      However a part of this debate must be whether there is or should be a coal mining industry in NZ and whrther as the public might perceive their is not an opportunity for the EPMU to look like they are doing something other than backing the coal mining industry to the hilt

      I think the public at large are questioning why it is considered that we owe the Coast the right to develop the coal mining industry or whether it isnt time to reconsider it just as native loggin was stopped a decade ago

  5. After the 3 pm news on newstalkzb dated 13 January 2011 the PM was interviewed. Mentiion by Key was made about a couple of speeches he had to give around Pike River. Key said, “I’ve just tried to think about, look I’ve got to do a good job for those families.”

    On Open Mike on 06/01/2011 I was against the mine being sealed off prematurely.

    Open mike 06/01/2011

    There needs to be an urgent review in regard to the sealing of the mine and analysis of what has worked and what has not worked and what could work which hasn’t been tried to get into the mine?

    The agendas of all the involved parties are now becoming clear.

    A man called Dan (I think) was on talk back last night and he knew a thing or two.
    In hindsight entry into the mine was feasible just after the 19 November explosion.
    Pike River is a smaller mine and has a lower gas level than most Aussie mines.
    The corridor needs to be sealed off and this has been delayed.
    A shaft needs to be drilled.

    Dan offered to go down to Pike River and he has offered his disaster recovery knowledge from day one. He will be in Queensland for the next two weeks.

    • Rob 6.1

      David Lange would probably have been able to smell the methane on John Key’s breath when these recent decisions were discussed

    • Swampy 6.2

      Tell you what You go down there with all the other arm chair exprts, see how long you last breathing methane and in the temperatures undergroud.

      • IrishBill 6.2.1

        According to the spokesman for the families the first stage of the re-entry plan had been achieved: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10699829

      • Treetop 6.2.2

        Swampy what needs to be seen to be done is that all parties are informed so they are all on the same page. Too late down the track for a decision maker to say, “no one told me that.”

        Until a review is carried out by an INDEPENDENT team of experts I am not assured that the experts have made the RIGHT decision as there are always options available. May be just leaving recovery/containment alone for a few/several days to allow a cooling off period mother nature may intervene in her own way.

        Dan was no arm chair critic either.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 7

    I see the real fault not in John Key, but in the ‘idiots’ who voted for him and his party at the last election.

    Did those who voted National really think they were going to get anything other than a self-serving sociopath?

    Did they really think that National was going to deliver on its promises of a ‘better, brighter future’?

    Of course, voting Labour would have simply delivered a self-serving sociopath with a different appearance.

    The politics of failure have become the norm. And the general populace is quite happy with that state of affairs.

  7. Bill 8

    Neither this post nor any ensuing comments are focussing on what I thought was an extraordinary claim made by Key and that was aired on TVNZ’s 6 O’Clock bulletin (and probably elsewhere).

    Key claimed (and I’m paraphrasing slightly) that ‘rescuers…or was the phrase ‘recovery team?’… had refused to enter the mine’.

    That claims that somebody ordered the rescuers to enter the mine and they refused to do so. The obvious questions are ‘Who ordered the rescuers to enter the mine?’ and ‘If that person or entity with authority over the actions of ‘rescuers’ deemed it okay to order people to enter the mine, when was that and when did they change their mind?’

    • Bob Stanforth 8.1

      I think what you will find is that the three mining experts who have been consulted – independently – have all advised the same thing: that with the GAG failure (supposed to be effective within 12 hours, and after 35 days, still not) and also its mechanical failure (engines blown) AND the fact that its owners, who have also consulted experts and got the same answer have asked for its return, its all over.

      The mine temps have not dropped at all, and all testing indicates the mine is still not safe to enter. End of story. Everything that could be tried and done has been, and no amount of throwing of money at the problem will fix it, short of opening the mine up from the top. JK hasnt lied, all references have been to doing everything that could be done to get them out. Thats been done, and there is nothing else anyone can do. Ask the experts, because thats where that message has come from. Not from Broad, not from JK, but the experts. Who might know a little bit more about this than left wing bloggers, or EPMU presidents. Go figure.

      • IrishBill 8.1.1

        It was not supposed to be effective after 12 hours. At the time the warning was it could take weeks to suppress the fire.

        It’s also not very clear what the experts are saying at all. In fact I haven’t seen any experts quoted anywhere. Could you supply a link please?

        • Bob Stanforth 8.1.1.1

          IB, why would provision of facts make any difference – this forum seems to run on the lack of them when trying to whistle for the dog.

          Suggest you find the facts out the same way I did – by hearing first hand from the experts. And then consider the mood of the miners families, who have been aware that this as coming for days, and have long known it was on the balance of probability most likely. You might also find out that the families are still 100% behind the decision making process, as they are involved in it.

          There is no conspiracy here, but keep digging, your wider efforts here sum it all up for me. Seeking to make political capital from loss. How pleasant.

          • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.1

            He also the families understood that recent improved camera footage demonstrated that where there was thought to have been fire, there was not. He said that meant re-entering the mine would be important for the inquiry.

            The families’ lawyer, Nicholas Davidson QC, has written to the Commissioner today asking for an immediate postponement of any decision pending further consideration and consultation.

            The families will also engage their own West Coast mining expert.

            Monk said the families are not unrealistic, but “a decision of such consequence should be made only with an accurate and up to date appraisal of facts, a full understanding of expert opinions, and with time to absorb the implications of whatever decision is then made”.

            Doesn’t sound like 100% to me.

          • IrishBill 8.1.1.1.2

            So no link then. Just a lot of hoo ha about how you don’t need facts here? For someone who has heard “first hand” from experts you got the 12 hour claim about the gag machine pretty bloody wrong there buddy.

            Your claim about the families being 100% behind the decision making is also patently wrong. Here’s a link (see how easy providing evidence is?) from the Press today: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4544509/Mine-families-vow-to-fight-on

            Hint: family spokeman says: “How the hell are we going to get the truth if they don’t go in? This is terrible what they have done to us.”

            Now you can either apologise for bullshitting while hypocirically calling us bullshit artists or you can piss off back to kiwiblog where you can make your half-witted assertions without having to face all those horrible facts and truths that seem to cause you so much difficulty.

            • Bob Stanforth 8.1.1.1.2.1

              As noted below bill, as soon as the GAG is turned off, the fires and gas levels revert, almost immediately. There is no solution here, as much as I and lots of other people want (and no, Im not going to reveal my link with this, but its close and very personal) calling JK a liar becuase he said they would try, they tried and failed, he didnt lie, he fronted, and you will find that people know that I suspect. The GAG is supposed to be effective within 12 hours – and that means significantly reducing explosive gas levels and oxygen, so the fire cannot burn. Its failed, and after 35 days, blown. Facts.

              And when you talk to the families, they know this, and they also know that there is nothing left. In every sense of the word. Trying to beat a drum over this is doomed to fail, but please, by all means go ahead. Oh, and I dont recall calling anyone a bullshit artist, but please feel free to prove me wrong.

            • Swampy 8.1.1.1.2.2

              No links but who on this blog needs them, they always link to their own posts which doesnt qualify.

              If the experts chose not to publish online that is their call you can always approach them to see if they chose to release the information another way.

              • lprent

                The linked posts then have usually multiple links to sources, not to mention the links in the discussion.

                So I would guess that you are making the point that you are just too lazy to read them?

                • Swampy

                  No all Im saying is its a perception thing. “we proved” in this previous post that such and such a thing took place when in reality all these posts and this blog are opinions of blog writers

                  in wikipedia they have special qualifiations for accepting self published sources as reliable references – mainly they are not accepted or discounted

        • Swampy 8.1.1.2

          Even when they turn it off a few horus all hell breaks loose underground

          It is not made to run 24/7 for the next 10 months.

          I read the newspaper I believe Broad has stated that, you can read like me

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.2

        The mine temps have not dropped at all, and all testing indicates the mine is still not safe to enter. End of story. Everything that could be tried and done has been, and no amount of throwing of money at the problem will fix it, short of opening the mine up from the top.

        There is no doubt that the project has been a failure so far.

        But what are the experts saying about WHY there has been so little headway to date. I am really confused as to why there is no detail on a failure mode analysis. Its a coal fire, it needs oxygen, the GAG was supposed to starve it of oxygen but the fire is still going – apparently.

        Where is the oxygen still coming from???

        Who might know a little bit more about this than left wing bloggers, or EPMU presidents. Go figure.

        Don’t be so dismissive. The EPMU is one of the organisations in this country with the most mining experts as members.

        • Bob Stanforth 8.1.2.1

          If you know the area you know the answer to that – there are holes everywhere. Thats where. Hence the attempts to seal those holes; mission impossible.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.1

            What do you mean there are holes everywhere? How can that be a problem?

            Find a hole, fill it in. Find a hole, fill it in. Find a hole, fill it in. Find a hole, fill it in.

            Its a bit repetitive sure, but you are now telling me that finding and filling holes is the big unsurmountable showstopper to recovering the remains? WTF?

            • Swampy 8.1.2.1.1.1

              No its not
              The production of methane from undergrounds a part of it that is not dependent on air gettijng in to a fire
              Methane s still explosive
              and the lack of air will simply cause the mine to smoulder rather than burn then soons as they open the tunnel to go in their have oxygen getting in

              Solid energy spent years trying to extinguish Strongman which still burns today

          • Marty G 8.1.2.1.2

            On wednesday they reported the sealing operation had succeeded in plugging the holes that were allowing oxygen in

          • Dean 8.1.2.1.3

            On wednesday they reported the sealing operation had succeeded in plugging the holes that were allowing oxygen in

        • Bob Stanforth 8.1.2.2

          And did AL consult those experts before commenting? You know that how?

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.2.1

            Ho ho ho

            So you admit that the EPMU has a tonne more mining expertise internally in their little finger than Key, Brownlee and the rest of that lot put together. Good.

            Hey I haven’t bugged AL and the EMPU’s communications so how would I know who they’ve had in their internal conference calls discussing Pike River.

        • Swampy 8.1.2.3

          Solid energy spent years trying to put out the Strongman mine fire and failed, it still bruns today after 40 yeas since it blew up. There are mine fires like that all around te world. Sad as it is Pike River is adding to the several mines already on fire in NZ

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.3.1

            But why has the brand new Pike River continued to burn, even with the GAG?

            • Bob Stanforth 8.1.2.3.1.1

              Sigh, for the same reasons quoted above – you cannot stop them.

              • Colonial Viper

                There is a problem with finding holes and filling them up.

                So according to you finding holes and filling them up is the showstopper reason from recovering the bodies. Like I said before: WTF.

                • Swampy

                  Its accepted world wide that these many mine fires continue to burn despite massive efforts in many cases and for very long periods. Coals known to spontaenously combust under right conditions and can do so for very long time or just smoulder under ground.

                  Its simply the limit of technology available to put fire out and remove ddangerous gas levels but it may be the mine is safe to re enter sometime in future but with conditions there now it can”t be made safe so its sealed just as many other mines have been

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.1.3

        How do you know it has not been effective? Or is it convenient just to state it as fact so that Key can walk away unscathed?

        • Bob Stanforth 8.1.3.1

          Can you read, or not? Lets make it easy for you then…

          “I think what you will find is that the three mining experts who have been consulted – independently – have all advised the same thing: that with the GAG failure (supposed to be effective within 12 hours, and after 35 days, still not) and also its mechanical failure (engines blown) AND the fact that its owners, who have also consulted experts and got the same answer have asked for its return, its all over.

          The mine temps have not dropped at all, and all testing indicates the mine is still not safe to enter.”

          As noted in the conference with families over the last 48 hours. Temperature hasn’t dropped significantly, indicating continued burning; gas levels still way beyond safe. 35 days of GAG ‘treatment’, to no avail.

          Yeah, how convenient, facts, what a bastard huh?

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.3.1.1

            Yeah, how convenient, facts, what a bastard huh?

            We know the op has been a failure so far. That in itself is unrevealing.

            But WHY haven’t the temperatures dropped?

            Where is the oxygen fueling the ongoing fire coming from?

            What are the ‘experts’ telling us about that?

            PS where’s your link to the three experts…

            • Swampy 8.1.3.1.1.1

              In another thread an expert (so claimed gave an explantation which made sense

              Do you accept thatline

              Which was something like, the mine is constructed up hill. the gaeses they pump in are heaveier than air. Methane lighter than air floats up the top of the mine. They pump in atthe bottom but it cant float up to the top where its burning the most

              • Colonial Viper

                The GAG pumps in high temperature gasses which are lighter, not room temperature gasses which are heavier.

                • Swampy

                  The Gags pumping in combustion products some of wich are heavier some lighter plus they inject water whch at some point condenses back into liquid that is heavier than air

                  Clearly the Gag is replacing some of the incoming oxygen just not enough of it or airs getting in somewhere else

          • Salsy 8.1.3.1.2

            So if the mine is sealed, then what of the inquiry? What would you suggest Bob? Forget about the whole thing and seal up the mine? Thats just not acceptable. Not bloody on!

            • Bob Stanforth 8.1.3.1.2.1

              Sorry, who other than your nimble witted self has suggested the inquiry will not take place?

              • Colonial Viper

                yeah because the Inquiry will run better when you can’t access the coal face where it all happened. Clever.

              • Salsy

                What kind of a formal investigation can be undertaken if the mine is sealed? There is already information coming out suggesting there were no fires in areas which had been previously thought burned.

                They also understood recent camera footage showed the mine was not as badly damaged by fire as presumed and entering the mine would help inquiries into the disaster and recovery attempts.

                The families deserve, both their loved ones back, and the truth.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.1.3.1.3

            No one ever pretended that things would go perfectly. There is always uncertainty, you need to learn to live with it.

            But to give up after a few weeks- how defeatist is that?

            Apart from some second hand hearsay from government paid experts we really have not got any information at all- so how would anyone know what the real situation is?

      • Bill 8.1.4

        Bob

        You’re sidestepping. JK said that the recovery crew had refused to enter the mine. That means that he was claiming the authority in charge of mine operations had ordered the recovery crew to enter the mine. In other fucking words, he was blaming the recovery crews for the end to operations and absolving any government figure or other authority in charge of operations for efforts being terminated.

  8. Swampy 9

    The mainstream media will not be reporting “Key lied” because they know these are cheap political shots and if everything every politican said was true they would all be in hell a long time because of their massive hypocrisy.

    These threads are really just a rant for Key haters, he is damned if he do and damned if he don’t. If he comes out in public and makes stastements to the media on these issues he is currying political favbour and playing politics. If he doesn’t and leave si t to the police commissioner and Brownless to make the announcement he is hiding. Blah blah blah he can never win and the way you all put it is just so plain you just dont want to admit it is all about Key and the miners are just all pawns/

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      and if everything every politican said was true they would all be in hell a long time because of their massive hypocrisy.

      Don’t need everything to be true.

      Just the promises that Key made to the families at Pike River on national TV that all necessary steps would be taken to retrieve their loved ones.

      These threads are really just a rant for Key haters, he is damned if he do and damned if he don’t.

      Key would not be damned if he followed through on the commitments he made on national TV to the families at Pike River. He will be if he backs of on his promises though.

      • Swampy 9.1.1

        All steps have been taken wuth world experts
        Just like the Gulf they have got one they cant succeed

        The gulf oil spill succceeded eventually with huge cost
        NZ does not have teh resources neither does PIke coal
        Now there is a thought indemnity insurance before opening these mines

  9. RedLogix 10

    Has anyone else quoted this Herald article yet?

    Families’ spokesman Bernie Monk, who lost a son in the disaster, said today they believed Mr Broad and Prime Minister John Key were given the wrong information when they said it was too dangerous to carry on with the body recovery.

    ….

    Mr Monk said the families needed their own gas and mine expert, Harry Bell who had worked on West Coast mines for more than 40 years, to be running the recovery and give police the advice they needed.
    ….

    Mr Monk said the crucial facts that warranted putting the decision to seal the mine on hold were:

    * The mine was understood to now be stable and had been for some days;

    * The GAG machine had therefore successfully completed its work;

    * The first phase of the recovery operation had been successfully completed and preparations for the second re-entry phrase could now commence.

    Such wildly conflicting claims over something that should be readily verifiable rather concerns me.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Possibility: they’ve theorised what could have gone wrong to cause the explosion and don’t want the physical evidence to come to light.

      Hmmmm this is why we need wikileaks.

      • Swampy 10.1.1

        You must be joking
        After a few embarasment Wikileaks has got really boring and its just political junkies picking over whats left wasting their effort really

        The problem is these crusaders like Assange cant really see beyond the ends of there noses that the rest of the world dont want to get sucked into their cause

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Wikileaks has got “boring”? I think you may have missed the point of the organisation – it is not an entertainment outlet.

          But thanks for speaking on behalf of the “rest of the world”, I wasn’t really sure what the rest of the world was thinking before your clarification.

        • felix 10.1.1.2

          Amnesty International have got fucking boring too. Most days I’d rather just watch the footy.

    • Swampy 10.2

      There has been a great deal of comment and claims proven later to be wrong througout all this

      The goverment has been advised by international experts (and dont ask me for linkt to there reports just because they have not published them on line doesn’t mean they dont exist(

      Little is backing this to the hilt because he smells the political blood opportunity for his unions and the Labour party but I guess he will have to back off like everyone else when the goverments advice is proven correct

    • Swampy 10.3

      So then the expert evidence the families say contradicts the official line should also be available for independent scrutiny & examination as well

      Otherwise a lot of what has been said and Kokshorn has been in the thick of it when he got too involves as small town mayor with little real insight is what we would calle Denial at all levels

      You do not need a body to declare someone legally dead & so the families can get on with life instead of getting caught up in what is clearly turning into the realm of desperation which Im sure we all understand happens & in this case has been played out through the media to max effect

      I remember when my own grandfather was at deaths door in a hospital, the extent of Denial from some family members who held out hope because simply put some people arent able to face up to something they have tried not to think about whats our inevitable Mortality.

      We can argue there has been Denial from day 1 at high levels but it would be irresponsible to suggest there should not have been held out the hope the mine could be made safe with everyone also made well aware many mines have been sealed up instead.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        So then the expert evidence the families say contradicts the official line should also be available for independent scrutiny & examination as well

        Oh certainly. Do bear in mind that the official recovery project will have far more material to reveal.

        You do not need a body to declare someone legally dead & so the families can get on with life instead of getting caught up in what is clearly turning into the realm of desperation

        The coroner declaring the miners dead has never really been a question though. And what is going to help the families get on with life is having the facts about what happened to their loved ones and why, and to do that you need access to the physical evidence.

        And you can’t get the physical evidence if they have given up on the recovery project.

  10. interesting 11

    everyone here seems to be accusing wach other of this and that.

    My question is: If the government should still be doing something, what do you propose.

    I have seen a lot of commentary over the last few days accusing people of giving up etc, of experts saying there is no hope, of others say there is.

    But no one, absolutely no one is offereing a solution or saying what else can be done.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      According to Bernie Monk the gag has been running to schedule:

      He says:

      * The mine was understood to now be stable and had been for some days;

      * The GAG machine had therefore successfully completed its work;

      * The first phase of the recovery operation had been successfully completed and preparations for the second re-entry phase could now commence.

    • Swampy 11.2

      Time for me to go somewhere else for a while

      But if the mine is being stabilised as claimed etc the receivers would be onto it like a shot because they would get a chance to re open the mine & therefore sell it for maxumum profit where as at moment they are not getting that with it closed

      Even you have to look at Kokshoorn saying the other day there were two robots going into the mine and working up hope on really nothing because no one lese has said a thing about those robots or whether they got any information then you come to conclude it is really time to leave it to experts and not politicians like the mayor of Grreymouth.

      By the way no one has said the Mayor of greymouth is milking political opportunity well of course he is but no more than anyone else including Goff and Key and Little and all the rest so stop grizzling.

      The “old timers” say we would have just gone in well people did do that and rescuesrs got killed as well and face up, there are still two dead miners sealed into part of Stromgman mine, maybe the bit thats still on fire after 43 years.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        But if the mine is being stabilised as claimed etc the receivers would be onto it like a shot because they would get a chance to re open the mine & therefore sell it for maxumum profit

        And strangely enough, the mine has been given back to the control of the receivers this week.

        How bloody handy eh.

        • Salsy 11.2.1.1

          or, perhaps Gerry’s coal dreams come true

          Pike River Coal receivers have until Monday to present police with their plan.

          Yesterday John Fisk of PricewaterhouseCoopers said one option was to temporarily seal the mine while other longer-term options were evaluated.

          The worst-case scenario was to simply fence it off and return the land to the Government.

  11. ak 12

    This whole kit caboodle stinks to high heaven from start to conveniently-buried finish.

    From how it ever ocurred in this high-tech age where gas-detectors are ten-a-penny from Supercheap Mining and mountainous PC-OSH-bureaucracy is supposedly stopping kids even going outside and volunteer firemen in Ekatahuna can BA-up and enter infernoes within seconds, to an aeroplane engine impotently screaming to death for 35 days, there are questions to be answered.

    Funny, innit, how the same flaming revolutionaries who screamed for the PM’s head when she had the temerity to sign a painting for charity or sit in the back of a speeding car are now demure models of sincerely-held probity and caution over this issue.

    You’d think there might be something to hide. Something now conveniently hidden forever.
    Keep a good eye on the inquiry.

      • Jim Nald 12.1.1

        I hope that those who care will ensure the truth does not become conveniently sealed off.

        • pollywog 12.1.1.1

          sweet…so how’s about the families agree to use about 3 million the 7 million dollars of miners relief fund to get their own independent recovery mission going ?

          …put their money where their mouth is so to speak ?

          but what i don’t get is, where theres smoke, there’s fire, so where there’s fire, there’s smoke ?…so wheres the smoke ? surely it should be leaking out of the many ‘holes’ making then easy to spot and plug ?

          i reckon it’s about time we had some up to date footage of whats going on there ? seems to take forever before the powers that be decide we, the public, are worthy of viewing the actual goings on.

          another thing is, did the explosion open up a huge reserve of Methane that just builds up and explodes every now and then ?…and will it eventually just stabilise to a level that becomes safe without requiring excessive ventilation ?

          there’s some interesting reading in these links . And from what i gather, according to them is, Methane only gets released when mining and sometimes after an explosion…

          http://www.methanegasdetectors.com/info/category/coalbed-mining/

          http://blogs.plos.org/speakeasyscience/2010/11/24/afterdamp-in-new-zealand/

          http://blog.deborahblum.com/?cat=112

          http://scienceblogs.com/speakeasyscience/2010/05/the_methane_calculation_part_2.php

          …since there hasn’t been much mining or explosions lately then, and if the mine is ‘still’ leaking dangerous levels of methane, then where’s that coming from ?

          the last painfully obvious thing i gathered from those links is that, explosions and deaths are avoidable and happen because of inadequate saftey procedures and training.

          So what’s Gerry the hut, smile ‘n’ wave and Whittal got to say about that ?

          BTW if someone with a twitter account wants to put some questions to the author of a couple of those links. Deborah Blum at http://twitter.com/deborahblum

          feel free, just post up the answers…chur

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        There seems to be conflicting information about or, at least, not verifiable information. Has anyone anywhere who is in a position to know categorically said that the fires are out?

  12. jcuknz 13

    Anybody who believed John Key’s original statement is pretty naive if they thought that it meant the rescue attempt would go on indefinitely without care for other considerations That is like the dam fool commentators who talk about politicians changing their minds. The sensible person is prepared to change their position in light of fresh facts.

    • Marty G 13.1

      people are entitled to rely on the PM’s word and they are entitled to be consulted and receive a real explanation – backed up by undisputed facts – if he changes his mind. The shabby, secretive way in which this affair has been conducted can only make people suspect their are other motives at play.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      meant the rescue attempt would go on indefinitely without care for other considerations

      Dude, calling things off after a few weeks is not really pulling out all the stops is it? You know like Key promised all those ‘naive’ (to use your term) families who believed him and took him at face value.

      The sensible person is prepared to change their position in light of fresh facts.

      The sensible person is prepared to ask – where are those fresh facts and why was this decision made now? Because of a mechanical break down?

      • Treetop 13.2.1

        Aussies want their gag machine back and in the same condition that it arrived in. A jet engine has arrived from the USA and the police are being footed the bill for this. Need to find out the cost of the new jet engine.

        Surely there is another gag machine in the world. The gag machine issue tells me that the decision makers at Pike River did not have a contingency plan for the return of the gag or the breakdown of the gag. They had one for fitting a new jet engine. Frankly I am not impressed that all that can be done has been done.

        Has NASA been consulted? They may have an idea or two.

        • Pete 13.2.1.1

          What are the chances of getting additional useful evidence? How important for the inquiry?
          What are the chances of getting identifiable and useful remains?
          At what risk, cost and timeframe?

          They are the key questions I’d like answered.

          • Salsy 13.2.1.1.1

            PIKE RIVER Latest Facts –

            Key pulls plug suddenly without consulting families.
            Key says Queensland govt have requested GAG machine returned.
            Key states GAG machine broken.
            Key states mine is sustantially damaged and unstable
            Govt give recievers the weekend to come up with rescue plan.
            Chairman John Dow says a number of International Interests looking at purchasing Pike River.
            Recievers declare if mine cannot be stabalised – WCS will return mine to NZ govt (DOC)
            New information via recent camera footage reveals surprise – mine not as badly damaged as previously thought – Request for comment on what the camera footage showed ignored.
            Family request their own mining expert to assess safety of mine. West Coast mining expert and former Chief Inspector of Mines Harry Bell confirms mine is in fact stable, and likely to remain that way.
            Greymouth Mayor Tony Kokshoorn revealed to have been wearing a wire while taking to Police.

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4540331/Police-pull-plug-on-recovery-of-Pike-River-29
            http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/closing-mine-worst-case-scenario-receiver-3997726
            http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=188953
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10699992

          • orange whip? 13.2.1.1.2

            And as soon as the mine is sealed you can kiss bye-bye to any hope of having those questions answered in any meaningful way.

          • Treetop 13.2.1.1.3

            Until you know you don’t know is my answer to your first two questions and this can best be established by entry into the mine. (This does not necessarily have to be human entry either).

            Question three to me is about trying to determine where a person perished and who it was,(this is a harsh reality).

            Question four, the first part is answered in the bracket. Cost until the job is done or it is near impossible to be done e.g. more explosions or consistently lethal gas levels and time frame how long is a piece of string?

  13. Dale 14

    Is it any wonder that the unions have done their dash?Andrew Little your such a cunt!I lost a very good mate down there! Please don’t use my mate to score points!

    [language]

    • Marty G 14.1

      13 of Andrew Little’s employers (ie EPMU members) died in that explosion and dozens more have lost their jobs because of it. His job, as their agent, is to represent their interests. And he’s doing that by asking that the recovery operation not be abandoned without a good explanation.

      Have you heard a good, detailed explanation of why the operation was abandoned? Because all I’ve heard is a lot of contradictory, vague claims by people who initially tried to hide from the media.

  14. jcuknz 15

    The whole business has been tragic and dreadful for the people and their families but in view of the subsequent explosions and raging fires I think it is reasonable to believe that there are just ashes left, probably blown around the place in the raging inferno, and so nothing to be retrieved. This is dreadful for the families who want to go through the grieving process of funerals etc but I very much doubt that is possible. So expecting the government to continue to pour money into the project is totally unreasonable. It is also disgusting that a tragedy like this is made so political. Every dollar poured into the effort is money desperately needed in other directions. The trouble is that people seem to think that money grows on trees and governments have endless supplies of it … well it doesn’t and they don’t. When people get tangled up by emotion, and set ideas as to the worthiness of those elected, it is very hard to act [write] in a rational manner and appreciate the need to call woe.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      in view of the subsequent explosions and raging fires I think it is reasonable to believe that there are just ashes left, probably blown around the place in the raging inferno, and so nothing to be retrieved.

      After examining the temperature readings from the mine in November, Key already knew this. But he made the promises on national TV anyway.

      Every dollar poured into the effort is money desperately needed in other directions.

      Yeah, you jogged my memory, I can clearly remember John Key saying to the families at Pike River

      We will do whatever we can to bring the bodies of your loved ones out from the mine, and the Government will commit to paying for the recovery operation just as long as the cost is fairly reasonable.

      Hand me a Tui someone.

      It is also disgusting that a tragedy like this is made so political.

      Get over it. The PM made promises on national TV. Its political.

  15. jcuknz 16

    Thank you CV for the quote which justifies my point and makes yours valueless ….
    “as long as the cost is fairly reasonable.”
    I thought without knowing the exact details that his early comment had been unwise but it seems that people have chosen to ignore the sensible qualification.
    John Key is the leader of the country as well as a political party … in this situation he was speaking as the former … another foolish comment by CV about getting over things ….

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  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
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  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
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  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
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  • Speech to APEC business event
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