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Andrew Little: Together, we will fight for justice for Pike families

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, January 21st, 2017 - 105 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, disaster, election 2017, health and safety, labour - Tags: , ,

From Newstalk ZB:

In Labour we use the phrase “Kiwi dream” to talk about our vision for New Zealand. To me, it’s a shorthand for the way we as New Zealanders believe in equality, in dignity, in looking out for each other, in doing what’s right even if it’s not easy. It symbolises who we aspire to be and who we are when we are at our very best.

The way the families of the 29 men whose bodies lie in Pike River Mine have been treated is not New Zealand at our best. The endless messing around, broken promises, and mistreatment of people who rightly expected to have everything done to retrieve their loved ones and find hard evidence of what killed them, is not how we expect Kiwis to be treated by their government.

What happened that terrible day at Pike, and what has happened since, should be of immense concern to all New Zealanders. Because it’s bigger than Pike River.

… this week when I was standing with Anna, and Sonya, and Bernie, and Dean and the other family members and supporters at the picket line I realised that things have changed. They are making their own hope now and finding their own power. It shouldn’t have come to this – bereaved mothers, fathers, wives and children having to take matters into their own hands just to get what the Government promised – but it has.

I support safe re-entry, which the experts say can be done. I want justice for the families of the worst workplace tragedy in decades. If New Zealanders choose to change the Government this year, Pike will be a priority in my first hundred days as Prime Minister.

I urge you all to stand together with Pike. It’s the Kiwi way.

For more updates on the campaign check out www.facebook.com/standwithpike

105 comments on “Andrew Little: Together, we will fight for justice for Pike families ”

  1. gsays 1

    Great news.
    An unequivocal statement.
    More of the same please.

  2. stigie 2

    Change the new health and safety laws that Labour voted on, to what ?

    • James 2.1

      If the win government and change the laws and there is indeed an accident- here is hoping that little is held responsible for any deaths or injury.

      If he takes away health and safety laws to specifically allow access he needs to be held to account if it goes wrong.

      • stigie 2.1.1

        “If he takes away health and safety laws to specifically allow access he needs to be held to account if it goes wrong.”

        Little won’t be held accountable, he will make it someone else’s responsibilty like the government. Through all this bullshit and if something did happen, someone will have to pay so the risk is not worth it.

      • bwaghorn 2.1.2

        national took away the mines inspectors before pike river that must make key liable for pike river then

        • stigie

          Seem to be ok with Andrew Little who was the Union head at the time ?

          • Draco T Bastard

            [citation needed]

            I’m pretty sure you’ll find that the unions opposed the decimation of health and safety laws but the National government went ahead and did it anyway.

          • Nope

            So much stupid. Do some google.


            Andrew Little has been a tireless campaigner for mine safety, before and after Pike River, and under National and Labour governments.

          • Morrissey

            What an ignorant thing to say. The unions were utterly opposed to the National Government’s stripping away of safety regulations.

            You need to educate yourself. Perhaps it might be an idea to stop posting nonsense on the internet for a while—a month or even two months, say—and read some books about the history of industrial relations in this country.

            Is there a library near you?

  3. James 3

    Indeed. With all the challenges the country faces (according to labour) this is something that needs to be a priority for the first 100 days. or not.

    • Xanthe 3.1

      Yes it needs to be a priority because pike river represents the worst outcome of market driven regulation . They have swept it under the rug so as to be able to just carry on regardless. Yes we need our public to understand in graphic detail exactly what market driven regulation really means.

      Yeah i know “dont feed the shill” an all 🙁

      • OneTrack 3.1.1

        Who will tell the people who wouldn’t get housing or wouldn’t get an operation because the government have wasted that money on an ash collection exercise. Honest question, exactly what do you think they would find – a stone plaque saying ” I did it”?

        But, if Andy, Winston and Bernie want to enter the mine, I am happy with that. Give them each an oxygen mask and tell them to go to it, no other public money wasted. But, no, they want to throw away millions of dollars and someone to risk their lives entering the drift, no even the mine itself. And repeating myself, why?

        Many people lose their relatives and the bodies are never recovered. Why is this any different?

        • Rae


        • One Two

          If there is a human being operating such accounts, there is a strong requirement for self evaluation

          The emotional quota is so low, as to be a liability to human progression

          Such comments are not interested in the wishes of the families or a measure of justice being carried out in respect of the dead miners

          The points used against a recovery mission are wet tissue paper in substance

          Reflecting the caliber of the cranium the words fell out of!

        • michelle

          one track this is an issue of principle and justice when a person goes to work they expect to return home not die at there work place. No one was been held accountable when I don’t wear my seat belt I get a ticket who got a ticket for this, who was responsible for this ? Also the gnats showed they have no heart as they were busy rushing through dubious polices while we were all praying and hoping for the safety of our miners this has been a nasty tactic of theres and in my view it is cold hearted, callous and devious. While I have been attending tangihanga around the country I have been actively encouraging many of our people to vote for a change of government. I am a very private person but this year I am going to hit the streets with my signs asking NZers to vote for change and a government that cares about us all. I don’t believe in telling people who to vote for but people need to know how important their vote is especially if they want change.

  4. “I support safe re-entry, which the experts say can be done. ”

    Seems to be a morphing message.

    Little has previously promised that a Labour Government would get an independent assessment of the mine and re-enter it if it was declared safe.

    • Leftie 4.1

      What makes you think that’s changed?

    • weka 4.2

      Supporting safe entry and getting an independent assessment aren’t two incompatible ideas.

      • Pete George 4.2.1

        A few days ago he said he would get an independent assessment of the mine and re-enter it if it was declared safe.

        More recently he said that experts say that safe re-entry can be done.

        There’s a difference there. He is sending different messages.

        • Leftie

          What difference? Previously, he has said he has read the reports from experts saying it’s safe, but due to conflicting advice from other experts, an independent report is needed.

        • weka

          No, you’re just too stupid to understand that what he would say on one situation might be phrased differently in another. Or you are just using this to run your anti-anything but the centre agenda.

          • Pete George

            Don’t you complain when people say the Greens are hard left? But you don’t seem to have a problem trying to pigeon hole others.

            ‘Anything but the centre’ is a ludicrous concept.

            Little has nowhere near the discipline that the Greens have in sticking to a few important issues. Chasing Peters over Pike River and appearing to modify his position as he goes is a curious strategy. It’s unlikely to be a core election issue.

            • weka

              The problem with calling the Greens hard left is what do you then call the people that are far to the left of them? It’s more an issue of accuracy. You on the other hand are not left wing and claim to not be right wing, which only leaves the centre.

              By all means put up some evidence that Little has modified his position, because all I can see is you running anti-left lines by trying to make out that the two alleged statements are somehow incompatible. They’re not.

              • “You on the other hand are not left wing and claim to not be right wing, which only leaves the centre.”

                There’s a lot of ignorance in that statement.

                • weka

                  Still can’t argue the points I see Pete.

                  • You haven’t denied your ignorance I see weka.

                    • weka

                      lol. That’s because I didn’t give your smear any credence Pete. You know me by now. If you can’t debate the points I will just keep pointing it out. You can call me names but until you can address the debate it’s just a nonsense.

                    • I didn’t call you names. You made things up.

                      Of course Little’s two comments are not incompatible, but they have different meanings.

                    • weka

                      You’ve ascribed them different meanings and insisted he has changed his position. You might be right Pete, but given your history I’d like to see some evidence. We already know what you believe.

        • One Two

          What a vacuous cavern the inside of your head must be, if that is the focus of your comment..

          Does such activity thrill you?

        • lprent

          Nope. What he is saying is that there are differences of informed differences of opinions about reentering the mine. Consequently looking at it again is worthwhile.

          Basically a report sought by an interested party can’t be regarded as being definitive. Nor could an opinion by the interested and liable party like Solid Energy be regarded as being definitive.

          However an action of permanently closing the mine is a definitive statement and should ONLY be taken as a last resort because it closes off the open questions about both the bodies and the causes of the disaster.

          Perhaps you should read what people say an use your brain rather than simply spinning it…

    • More details for weka.

      On Monday Stuff reported:

      Little stands by his promise to seek another report by world-leading experts and make a decision on whether to re-enter the mine based on a third opinion.

      To date the Government has a report saying it’s too dangerous while the Pike River families have their own report saying it’s safe.

      In response to whether the findings of a third report would be treated as gospel, Little said, yes.

      “I’m not going to give false hope to people but I’m not going to deny them realistic hope either.”

      He said a third report would mean “you’ve got more experts than not saying what is practical to do”.

      You’ve got to leave it for the experts and show respect to them.”


      Little is clearly saying he would “leave it for the experts” and abide by a third report in making any decision.

      However on Wednesday:

      Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

      “My Health and Safety at Work (Pike River Recovery) Amendment Bill removes that risk and, therefore, removes the excuse the Prime Minister is using to block recovery operations that international mining experts maintain are feasible and not unduly risky.

      “I will be tabling the Bill on the first day of the new Parliamentary session on 7 February and I challenge the Government to back it.

      “Bill English can’t hide behind this excuse unless there are other reasons he has for not wanting recovery to happen. He needs to front up and do the right thing for the families of the Pike River miners who have been waiting too long for their men to be returned.

      “As I have said all along, Labour supports safe re-entry, which the experts say can be done. I want justice for the families who have suffered the worst workplace tragedy in decades.

      “If New Zealanders choose to change the Government this year, re-entering Pike River will be a priority in my first hundred days as Prime Minister,” says Andrew Little.


      Nothing in that about a third report and leaving it to experts. It gives quite a different impression – that Little supports re-entry regardless and he will make it a priority.

      • billmurray 4.3.1

        Pete George,
        well said, in addition I would contend that the safety failures at Pike river, I understand (as is normal), that the union agreed to the safety procedures prior to the mine opening, were a union fail as much as a management fail.
        Andrew Little was the National secretary of the union involved, EPMU, at the time of the disaster.
        There could be some real fireworks when Little introduces his bill when the House sits,
        I expect more to come out about Management/ Union agreement on mine safety, prior to the disaster.
        Andrew Little is digging a hole, this matter will not go away.

        • Gabby

          Hopefully we’ll hear more about this Knapp fellow threatening to sue the union. That’d be interesting.

        • reason

          Pointing out and fixing Nationals contempt towards workers health and safety is not digging a hole …………

          Nationals hatred towards unions is as clear as the knighthood they gave that sir Talley prick …….

          The pike river killing zone ……is one of low regulation …govt inspections failure .. and non-compliance of low standards verging on willful by company management …..

          Pike River Contains a lot of real news ….. which shows what a horrible mean bastard Key actually is ………. with his cruel actions and dishonest statements up for re-examination.

          ……” the Government could have paid its share of the compensation from this amount and barely missed it.”

          But Key ruled this out on the basis that he would be creating a precedent and that the Government would then be responsible for redundancy pay every time the Government held shares in a company”…… ” Equating the loss of loved ones because of an inherently unsafe mine with the loss of a job is both stupid and insensitive in the extreme.” https://thestandard.org.nz/key-refuses-to-pay-compensation-for-pike-river/ …..

          Key and cameron slater also seem to hate the mother of one of the young miners killed ….. Key presumably because she tried to keep him to his promises he made to the bereaved and suffering families ….

          Keys insincere bullshit towards these victims got him a bump in his popularity …

          But unlike the general public who would quickly forget Keys specific words ….. the relatives of the miners did not.

          Th slater & key partnership in supporting bullying and bad behavior from each other is revealed in Nicky Hagers book “Dirty Politics” ….

          One of Key or Slater calls the bereaved mother of a young pike river miner a “Bitch” ….

          Her crime was publicly calling out key on his falseness …

          As he’s a real arsehole ………… and a fake nice guy.

      • weka 4.3.2

        Where does Little say that he no longer thinks a third report is necessary?

      • Gabby 4.3.3

        Little supports SAFE re-entry.

        You quoted it without reading it?

        • Pete George

          He said “Labour supports safe re-entry, which the experts say can be done. If New Zealanders choose to change the Government this year, re-entering Pike River will be a priority in my first hundred days as Prime Minister”.

          That contrasts with “Little stands by his promise to seek another report by world-leading experts and make a decision on whether to re-enter the mine based on a third opinion.” And “In response to whether the findings of a third report would be treated as gospel, Little said, yes.”

          Unless Little thinks he can get an expert report done, and that that will support re-entry, and then have the mine re-entered within a hundred days, then he has given two different messages.

          • Ross

            My reading of Little’s comments is that he will arrange for an “independent” assessment but that assessment is likely to promote re-entry. In other words, Little will be getting the report he wants. Alas, it is what governments do.

            • Leftie

              Lol Ross, your “reading of Little’s comments” turns out to be based on your assumption, rather than fact.

          • weka

            He didn’t say that the mine would be re-entered within 100 days, he said that in his first 100 days as PM re-entering Pike would be one of the priorities. In other words, he supports that process, as opposed to National who oppose it.

            I’ll repeat, if you can find a statement from Little saying he no longer requires a report, please post it. Otherwise you are making shit up, and as I suggested earlier, you are running anti-left spin lines.

      • Leftie 4.3.4

        Splitting hairs much Pete George?

  5. Keith 5

    But are you going to open a genuine no holes barred investigation to hold someone or some persons responsible for what happened?

    Its not the reopening of this mine, it was that NO PERSON, was ever held to account for this clearly avoidable disaster when any right thinking government would have done that is the true disgrace!

    That this was tidly swept under the carpet sent the wrong message to managers that real staff safety is not their concern.

    • James 5.1

      That is a seperate argument to what little is doing here.

      You cannot say there should have been accountability for what happened – and not demand it for a specific law change to allow people back in there.

      • stigie 5.1.1

        It’s quite sad that Labour/Greens/NZF are making this play for political gains, this will put the families in a worse situation than they already are !

        • Keith

          Bullshit. This disater was sub third world in its magnitude but you would think that the bypassing of safety in exchange for profit was just an unfortunate oversight rather than the crime it was!

        • Nope

          Little has stood alongside the families since day one. Winston has been an opportunist, but can’t say the same about Little.

      • Gabby 5.1.2

        Why not?

        • james

          So he makes a law change and people go back in and (God forbid) they have an accident and die going back in there it should be “oh dear never mind?”

          Are you saying there should be no accountability for anyone making the decision to allow people going back in there?

  6. Nick 6

    So many RWNJ comments ….must have had their Weetbix….. I think the majority of NZ people want the mine reopened and a proper outcome, not the Natz rug sweeping exercise…… Didn’t their exPm ShonKey grandstand about Pike River…. Then bail on the families and NZ…. Yep

    • James 6.1

      Full English beakfast. Loads of energy for the day.

    • Cinny 6.2

      Well said Nick

    • mlpc 6.3

      I don’t believe that the majority of NZ people want the mine reopened.
      They know there are conflicting expert opinions, and that it cannot be guaranteed to be anywhere near risk free.
      And they don’t think there will be any remains to find, even if it were possible to re-enter without risk.

      • Nope 6.3.1

        Ok well then on the basis of your reckons of what you think NZers think we’ll all stop fighting for justice and go home now.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 6.3.2

        Entering mines is an inherently risky business. Wouldn’t myself, but believe that the majority of NZers (and all mine safety experts) would like to know more about what happened in NZ’s 4th worst mine disaster, occurring >40 years after the last mine disaster with a double digit death toll. And for the relatives and friends of the 29 miners killed to have some accountability and closure.

        Will well trained and equipped experts that re-enter the Pike River mine complex (with the benefit of hindsight) be at greater risk than the miners who risked their lives every working day? That’s for experts to judge.

        • Pete George

          Are you aware that not all families support re-entry? The ongoing attention must be a constant reminder of family members they have lost.

          Yes, there is greater risk due to the levels of methane in the mine, and from explosion damage to the shafts.

          I agree that it would be good to know more about the cause of the explosions. How much time do you think would be required in the mine to investigate properly?

          • Wainwright

            You don’t even know how methane works. Must be getting your lines from Nick Smith.

            • Pete George

              You don’t even know what I know about methane. Where do you get your lines from?

              • Wainwright

                You think nthere is “greater risk due to the levels of methane in the mine”, ipso facto you don’t know how methane works.

                • You’re making incorrect assumptions.

                  High levels of methane means that breathing apparatus must be used, which raises risks (and also has time constraints).

                  And high levels of methane means that if enough air is introduced, or if there are pockets of air, or there are areas of different methane concentrations, there is raised risk.

                  If there is no raised risk why didn’t rescue teams go straight into the mine? Why is there so much debate about re-entering the mine now?

                  • @ Pete George

                    ” High levels of methane means that breathing apparatus must be used,”

                    * Not only does high levels of methane in the absence of oxygen (such as at Pike River which is 98% methane ) make a methane explosion impossible, – it also creates an ‘ inert’ gaseous environment.

                    * methane is combustible only at concentrations of 4.5 – 17 % in the presence of oxygen.

                    * Breathing apparatus would always be standard worn equipment – at least until sufficient monitoring demonstrated otherwise.

                    ” And high levels of methane means that if enough air is introduced, or if there are pockets of air, or there are areas of different methane concentrations, there is raised risk.”

                    * The whole idea and plan put forwards by mines recovery experts is to seal off and then use an inert gas to flush methane out of that section. Then create the next seal and repeat thus ‘ walking ‘ ones way up the drift.

                    * the original seal 150 meters in was constructed without any fear of imminent explosions – and without breathing apparatus being worn apparently.

                    ” If there is no raised risk why didn’t rescue teams go straight into the mine? ”

                    * As you will recall – they were originally prevented from doing so – by the Police – not by those skilled in working in mines and mines recovery teams.

                    ” Why is there so much debate about re-entering the mine now?”

                    * Possibly for the same sorts of reasons Whittal was allowed to evade prosecution with WorkSafe NZ cutting a deal with Whittals insurance company – and also because as an example – our vast iron sand resources and the mining licenses that were granted to overseas mining company’s still stand.

                    The least bad publicity these corporate’s get the better in their view – because as cited above – our iron sands resources alone are placed at between $1 and $5 trillion dollars.

                    ” The “in-ground resource value” of New Zealand’s extensive ironsand deposits could be between $1 trillion and $5 trillion, says state-owned energy company Solid Energy.”


                    ( Regards the link above – google the rest after the initial highlighted link to see their article )

                    • Just for personal interests sake – here is the article from the above link. Bear in mind that licenses that were granted are still valid and that many are overseas corporate’s – not just NZ company’s. Most New Zealanders are not aware of the colossal dollar value in minerals in and around our shores and in our National Parks – yet the bankers and investors have known about it for years – including our own politicians.

                      And that’s one of the reasons prosecutions and the reentry into Pike River is really being stonewalled.


                      The “in-ground resource value” of New Zealand’s extensive ironsand deposits could be between $1 trillion and $5 trillion, says state-owned energy company Solid Energy.

                      The iron ore contained in ironsands off the west coast of the North Island has been estimated to be worth a trillion dollars, but Solid Energy chief executive Don Elder said that “the industry view is increasingly that (the value) could be substantially greater than that”.

                      The final value would depend on the price of steel, and the availability of technology to smelt ironsands, he told Parliament’s commerce select committee yesterday.

                      “Resources are attracting margins or profits in the order of 20 percent of the revenue.”

                      Prices seen in 2008 would mean profit margins of 50 percent or “significantly higher” could be available from ironsands.

                      A New Zealand-based company, Trans Tasman Resources Ltd (TTR), and overseas rivals are looking at exploiting New Zealand ironsands, and TTR has suggested that a domestic steel mill could use local high-grade coking coal to refine the ironsands.

                      Dr Elder said Chinese companies had cheaper labour and capital and could do such projects faster, but New Zealand had an advantage in the availability of the water needed for such a refinery.

                      “If you could process those in New Zealand, it’s a much much better value opportunity and would certainly compete with doing the same thing in China under the right circumstances, with the right technology”.

                    • weka

                      thanks WK, and for explanations further down the thread.

                    • BTW :…

                      Pike River was ONE of the mines that was envisioned to help supply that ‘high quality coking coal’ for the NZ iron sand smelting process….

                      As well… the same company that owned the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia , USA , … that had a similar methane /coal dust explosion killing 29 workers with only 2 escaping ( just like Pike River) … several months before Pike River – also had financial interests in Pike River.

                      Go figure , people !!!

                      There’s a lot more riding on this whole thing than meets the eye with some pretty powerful local and offshore vested interests who are working to ensure Pike River evidence never gets to see the light of day.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The “in-ground resource value” of New Zealand’s extensive ironsand deposits could be between $1 trillion and $5 trillion, says state-owned energy company Solid Energy.

                      And it’s that thinking that has them digging it all up ASAP and exporting and thus leaving us with no resources to maintain our own society. In other words, the present system will make NZ poor all for the sake of making a few people rich.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Pete you are trying to bog everyone down on this blog.
                    Straight after an explosion all the Methane is burnt off the problem becomes carbon Monoxide an inert gas.
                    That’s the safest time to go in.
                    Lack of Expertise at the mine by the Police and mine management ruined any chance of that happening.
                    Manslaughter by negligence.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Poisonous Gas I suggest you go into a Coal mine before or after an explosion.without a mask.
                    Then we will know your level of expertise

        • weka

          I think that’s the best summation I’ve seen on the safety issue, thanks.

    • Leftie 6.4

      +1 Nick.

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 6.5

      I fucking hate Weetbix.

  7. saveNZ 7

    Good speech by Little.

  8. adam 8

    Happy about this. Well done Andrew.

  9. 98% methane is in that mine atm by constitution.

    It has been pointed out time and again that this is , in fact , a preferable state. Simply because it needs between 4.5% to 17 % methane saturation in the presence of oxygen to be combustible. More than that , and it is inert.

    The entry plan is to pump the drift full of an inert gas , in stages , .. and flush out the methane . When they originally installed the first seal it was done without any particular equipment… 150 meters in. The process would be done in sections with seals in place as they went. This apparently is the way its done elsewhere and was essentially the way advocated by the worlds most eminent mines safety and reentry experts.

    This govt , – and Solid Energy ( who takes their cues from this govt ) flys full in the face of those eminent experts reports and advice.

    Andrew Little seems to have grasped this and is now running with it as the evidence against this govt steadily mounts.

  10. fisiani 10

    National have followed the law that clearly states that directors can be sued when there is risk even when no injury takes place. Winston and little are pathetically trying to gain a few votes. Everything that can be done has already been done. John Key kept his promise. Let the dead rest in peace. Stop playing politics with grief.

    • The law you speak about was drawn up after the fact of Pike River , and it is that law this govt is using to stall with. The fact is : it is a govt.

      And a govt can scrap old legislation , rewrite legislation , create dispensary legislation and abridge legislation. Your argument holds no water.

      And certainly a govt dept whether that be publicly owned or part privatized DOES NOT have legislative preeminence over an elected govt.

      And it has already been put put forwards that special legislation CAN INDEED be brought to bear regarding Pike River – if not for recovering any bodily remains – but most certainly for the recovery of any forensic evidence .

      And that forensic evidence just may see certain individuals and / or company’s charged retrospectively and appear before our courts – rather than the shameful situation we witnessed that sees a govt dept arranging with a defendant and their insurance company a way to buy their way out of any prosecutions and thus make a mockery of our whole legal system.

      That alone is reason enough for reentry.

      That and closure for the victims family’s rather than them being victims of corporate and individual skulduggery and maneuvering .

    • Tricledrown 10.3

      Retrospective legislation to Jail manager and board.

  11. Cricklewood 11

    Maybe this isnt feasible but i would like to see a new SOE set up called Pike River Recovery which would aqcuire ownership of the mine.
    I propose that the directorships to said SOE be given to a rep of the families and 1 representative of each of the current parties in Parliament. They can vote to enter the mine or not dependant on the evidence in front of them.

    • billmurray 11.1

      no doubt you have given this matter some thought, the problem is that “the evidence” is contradictory.
      No responsible government will rule and refuse advice against “safety” from mining experts who are still employed in the industry.

      • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1

        ‘ No responsible government’

        * this govt is not.

        ” advice against “safety” from mining experts who are still employed in the industry.”

        * Any ‘advice’ from Solid Energy which is controlled by the govt must be viewed with some element of suspicion – when both party’s have a lot to lose by any forensic evidence that brings to light culpability and justify’s retrospective prosecutions – which would certainly cause political embarrassment in an election year.

        * Notwithstanding ,… ‘advice’ from whom ?… Solid Energy ? and their largely unnamed ‘experts’ ? or those Australian ‘experts’ they touted… who also have interests in Solid Energy and investments thereof….

        Are these more informed and recognized as being more experienced than the eminent mines safety and recovery operations from around the globe who have just stated reentry into Pike River CAN be done and done safely ?!!? Not only that – but have provided the method to do it – methods that have been successful many times before ?!!? .

  12. Tricledrown 12

    A drone would be the safest method of entering the mine
    PG fits the bill.

  13. rsbandit 13

    So, his strategy is to be follow Winston around?

    This is ridiculous. They are risking live people to possibly recover some…what, exactly… so they can rebury it further down the road. To do this, he’s going to remove liability for the business owners? Will he be taking personal liability?

    Leave it be, please. As many of the families want. What about them? Don’t their wishes count?

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      The most important thing about going back in is to see if the forensic people can figure out what happened.

      • infused 13.1.1

        and that wont happen.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Only if National runs the job. After all, they’re trying very hard to prevent that from happening seemingly so as to protect rich people from being charged. The Left in general want to know what happened to prevent it from happening again and to know what charges need to be laid if any.

    • ” This is ridiculous. They are risking live people to recover some…what, exactly…”

      * Firstly to attempt to recover any physical remains of miners that may still be there.

      * Secondly , … to attempt to compile and collate any forensic evidence that may establish A) the causes of the blast , … and B ) any culpability .

      * Thirdly , mines Rescue teams have stated they are prepared to go into the drift , – not only that but have been backed up by the opinions and methodology of highly regarded international mines Safety and Recovery experts. Unlike the Govt and its part privatized SOE – Solid Energy – which is part owned by certain Australian interests ( such as Bathurst Resources ) whereby it would appear they drew some of their ‘ expert ‘ advice from…

      ” Leave it be, please. As many of the families want. What about them? Don’t their wishes count?”

      * Is there anything to stop those who do not wish for their loved ones remains to be moved to be honoured and left ?- especially as so many anti mine entry voices are so fond of stating ‘ what will they find but ashes” ( counter productive argument to begin with …) And even if that is their wish… do we stop all investigations where there has been a worksite death simply because some would not want it?

      • Ross 13.2.1

        to attempt to compile and collate any forensic evidence that may establish A) the causes of the blast

        A Royal Commission of Inquiry was established into Pike River and reported on what caused the explosions. I very much doubt that any further evidence will be found. However, I do support re-entry if it’s safe.


        • Draco T Bastard

          A Royal Commission of Inquiry was established into Pike River and reported on what caused the explosions.

          And how did they do that without having the evidence?

          And then there’s the question of what happened after the explosions.

        • straightup

          Did you not see the independent test that the company did?? they proved as well the opposite of what was used to cover the bullshit.. the enquiry just took what suited it. sure it wasnt some contraband that caused the explosion??

  14. Philgwellington Wellington 14

    Oh no Pete George! I’m out. Too many RWNJS.

    • jcuknz 14.1

      I would say too many LWNJs as well stirring this along .. a subject which I suspect most NZders are completely sick of.

  15. rsbandit 15

    Wild Katipo, the reason for going in is **political**. A stick to beat the government with. If we still had a Clark government and this had happened, would the mine would be sealed by now as it is highly unlikely there would be agitation from Unions and their political mates?

    **to attempt to compile and collate any forensic evidence that may establish A) the causes of the blast , … and B ) any culpability .

    It was a dangerous mine. Health and safety loose. Management ultimately responsible for H&S. Possible insufficient safety design due to environmental concerns. Possibly some miners not following procedure. Prepared for that possible outcome? What else is there to know, and do you really want to know?

    **mines Rescue teams have stated they are prepared to go into the drift

    Would you send your kids in? Just because some people want to take the risk does not mean they should.

    **Is there anything to stop those who do not wish for their loved ones remains to be moved to be honoured and left

    Good luck sifting through remains and determining that…..

    • ”A stick to beat the government with. If we still had a Clark government and this had happened, would the mine would be sealed by now as it is highly unlikely there would be agitation from Unions and their political mates?”

      * Legal operations observe no political party’s. Or in any open society shouldn’t. And should be impartial regardless of what political party or organisation is involved.

      ” Management ultimately responsible for H&S. Possible insufficient safety design due to environmental concerns. Possibly some miners not following procedure. ”

      * And that is the whole point of not trying to impede a renewed inquiry or obstructing the gathering of evidence. Which to date has seen this issue demonstrate these actions amply – a case in point being the subversion of justice with Worksafe NZ approaching Whittals insurance company to prevent Whittal standing trial. If that’s not perverting the course of justice in favour of the rich , then nothing is.

      ” Would you send your kids in? ”

      * irrelevant rhetorical question .

      ” Just because some people want to take the risk does not mean they should.”

      * And with that attitude , we may as well resign ourselves to any endeavor that involves risk to an overriding nanny state. And that includes extreme sports, police rescues , search and rescues, firefighting and the like. Conversely , – if this had occurred under a Labour govt, – I’m sure you wouldn’t hesitate to demand a reentry. Notwithstanding the fact that it has been demonstrated that reentry is possible – by experts far more qualified than this govt has put forward – and by experts who actually specialize in recovery operations.

      ” Good luck sifting through remains and determining that…..”

      * I take it you are an expert on fire and its affects on the human body and that you have inside knowledge the rest of us dont on what has happened to any human remains in the Pike River mine… if not – then you are only guessing and assuming – which is exactly why the drift needs to be reentered to ascertain the real facts, – not just mere supposition on your part.


      I will provide you with a video clip to demonstrate to all the folly of your and others opinions who have posted in a likewise manner – and just how effective an open system of govt that allows unbiased investigations to take place can be in bringing those to justice who have acted callously , irresponsibly and unethically.

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