Aussies on Pike River

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 pm, June 28th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

Why is it the Australians are getting better coverage of Pike River than we are?

The Australian, for example, ran a story yesterday asking some hard-hitting questions about safety at the mine including the lack of remote gas measurement and a second escape route.

Perhaps it’s because, as the article points out, our media were too busy deifying a CEO to cover the story in any substantial way?

As Whittall left the press conference, the journalists clapped.

It was something Australian journalists would never do – the unspoken protocol is not to clap for anyone so as to maintain neutrality – but some of Whittall’s PR men led off the applause and the Kiwi journalists joined in.

History hasn’t finished with Whittall or with Pike River and the truth has a way of coming out given time. But many of our media failed desperately in their duty of writing the first draft of history. Perhaps because they couldn’t grasp the enormity of what had happened or perhaps because they were too inclined to take their lines from the PR guys like it was just another “current event”.

22 comments on “Aussies on Pike River”

  1. ianupnorth 1

    Very very interesting

    Sattler complained to management but says he was told: “You’re not in Australia, you’re in New Zealand. Do as the Romans do.”

    I have been involved in investigations of  mishaps in a New Zealand hospital and was told

    “You’re not in the UK, you’re in New Zealand. Do as we do.”

    Quite a sobering article.

    • ZeeBop 1.1

      NZ is corrupt. But worse to hear that about the journalists. That they gave up their integrity so easily. How wasn’t there a mine inspector???? Where was the employee anonomous call line to alert the authorities to do a spot check on safety.

      Sorry but you are better off in Australia, amd don’t wait because you do not want to learn on the job, you want the world standard best to learn from.

      Its simple, quality in quality out. NZ economy stinks, because the input stinks.

      And who peddles shit? Politicians (mostly National and ACT) and the MSM who lock in behind them.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        I’d excuse any journo under 30 for not knowing their art and for not caring. Many of them should take up a career writing pulp fiction instead, as that is what they are most suited to.

        But there are some seasoned reporters (and editors) out there who should, and do, know better.

        I’ve got a nasty feeling that two things have happened – good money has been squeezed out of our news media, and bad money has been squeezed in. Neither has been a coincidence.

        NZ is corrupt. But worse to hear that about the journalists.

        I wouldn’t say particularly corrupt (at least not in the way understood in asian, middle eastern and central american contexts) but definitely incompetence and immaturity play a role.

        • ZeeBop

          Ethically corrupt, morally corrupt, intellectually corrupt, and fiscally corrupt, of course all nice and legal, well above board, in fact in your face NZ.

          The Paul Henry cult of mana enhancement, where the talking head, politician, newsreader or journalist decides to select a story that sticks it to the little guy, to satisfy balance.

          Yeagads man, someone runs off with millions in one fell swoop and considering the bell curve, that means there are tens of people running off with hundreds of thousands, hundreds running off with ten of thousands of dollars, that a beneficiary living to make ends meet unlikely to be heavily sanctioned because they will still receive a benefit, and during the same period would have likely been. Sorry, the mum who lived with her husband but didn’t tell WINZ, so essentially she would of likely gotten family credits instead, but they screamed she was a fraudster, she’s not doing his socks, she’s estranged, not sleeping with him, so for all intense and purposes there is no marriage. How is that fraud? How is WINZ thinking that the cost of all that lawyering is going to help recoup $30,000 that the government would have paid a sizeable proportion anyway. Geez, just take the difference off them and get on with helping people instead…

          And the media think that there equal, rubbish we know most in house financial crime gets washed out for fear of bad PR. Yes, we are a corrupt society when such routine discrimination goes on right in our faces. And that’s not the only issue, why does English get $30,000 for his own home and this lady who did nothing different but read the rules wrong gets a court case, just does not seem right, because we live in a corrupt society.

          The kids are supposed to misbehave, not the politicians! Grow up NZ, politicians like
          English, Key oh ooops it is $100,000, pundits like Henry and darky Holmes should not be recycled, well not the clean them off and put them back on the shelf type recycling.

          TV, media, politics in NZ is nepotism, or sure looks like it.

        • prism

          cv Add, I think, complacency. That she’ll be right smug attitude stops us from getting ahead.

  2. Zetetic 2

    remember at the time there was that one Aussie journo asking hard questions and everyone from the PM to the journos attacked him for ‘being an insensitive bastard at this time of tragedy’?

    Turns out he was doing what the PM and journos should have been doing – demanding explanations as to how 29 men died at their work site – and starting with the logical person: the boss.

  3. Zetetic 3

    “As Whittall left the press conference, the journalists clapped.

    It was something Australian journalists would never do – the unspoken protocol is not to clap for anyone so as to maintain neutrality – but some of Whittall’s PR men led off the applause and the Kiwi journalists joined in.”

  4. Fat Uncle 4

    So those perceptions of an uncorrupt democracy?

    let’s hope we can ask again in 5 years and have the same perceptions. This government hasn’t made the country more democratic.

  5. tc 5

    I’ve actually seen better TVNZ pieces on Oz’s SBS who do the local stuff for their national news than they do for local consumption.

    Yet another example of a compliant MSM who follow the PR line rather than actually honor the memory of the 29 dead and front with some tough questions……people lost lives here and it’s as if it’s just another press conference on policy or statistics… f’ing disgrace.

  6. vto 6

    Completely agree. And I will repeat again my view that this Enquiry will point fingers at individual people as responsible for the killing of the 29 men.

    Those individuals will be the people who promoted and changed the laws around mine safety (but of course they are politicians and will hide behind their ‘office’ and others and deny culpability). Nobody from thsi realm will accept responsibility. Just like Cave Creek. Pathetic people.

    Those individuals will be those behind the promotion and ownership of the company who pushed ahead with never enough money and so carried out the entire project in such a typically NZ fashion – on the smell of an oily rag – which led to a badly flawed mine. This will net Whittall and others. Will they accept responsibility? I doubt it.

    Those individual will be those on/under the ground on the day and the weeks prior who operated the shonkey gas and safety systems and failed in their task at hand. Will they accept responsibility? Well, they are more likely to accept responsibility than those in the above two cases who are famous for being wankers and bastards.

    Failings at three levels. Result 29 men killed dead. Lets see who stands up like a man and accepts the responsibility.

    • Chess Player 6.1

      Not the Greens tho, for not allowing it to be an open cast mine, of course…

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        The failure of the Greens was allowing mining there full stop. No mine, no deaths. Easy eh?

      • Morrissey 6.1.2

        Not the Greens tho, for not allowing it to be an open cast mine, of course…

        You’re a bit confused, my friend. The Greens aren’t responsible for the lack of safety standards in the mining industry.

      • MrSmith 6.1.3

        Chess player : Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall has already stated “open-casting mining at the Pike River site was never feasible. Before trying to Blame the Greens maybe you should find out the facts, but your not interested in the facts or the truth are you .

  7. Bill 7

    This lack of a second escape route.

    Was watching one of those genealogy programmes a while ago. Back in the day when steam engines were used to pump out mines…a long, long time ago….there was an accident that involved the pump tumbling down the shaft and trapping everyone underground.

    And so in 1800 something Britain, it became utterly illegal to dig single shaft mines. And yet….

    • prism 7.1

      Bill We all know that NZ does not believe in the precautionary approach. That’s nanny state stuff not for real men who take real chances with their limbs and lives.

      We invariably have to wait for a disaster before anything is done about the fault or lack or problem, and then we look first to see if we can pin the blame on somebody handy who is disposable.. What gets done you might ask? We hold a Royal Commission. Then after that is digested, there is a belch and, if we’re lucky, a small deposit of something substantial and useful.

  8. ianupnorth 8

    Even when you have more than one mine shaft the risks of explosion from gas are high. I was brought up in this village and despite it being over 100 years since the disaster the memories were still there (my great, great grandfathers brother was killed in this)
    Nice to see the caring mine owners evicted the widowed wives from the mining cottages!

  9. Bryan 9

    Seems to me that mine safety (and H&S in general) is unlikely to become the ‘major scandal’ it deserves to be.

    Why? Because of the collateral damage to our own feet if Labour pursues the issue!

    The labour movement (both Govt & Unions) had every opportunity to address these issues over the previous decade and abjectly failed to do so. We still kill and injure our workers at 2-3 times the rate of Australia, a disparity worsening while Labour was in power.

    That minor amendments were ‘pending’ when we were defeated serves only to emphasise the lack of priority accorded to this most fundamental of workplace issues.

    • ianupnorth 9.1

      As you point out people are expendable – they don’t want to outlaw kids on quad bikes because it might upset a few people and would nanny state – better more kids die!

  10. Swampy 10

    It is not correct to state as has been said numerous times lately that there is no second escape route. Maybe this is why the local media have stopped stating this.

    The mine was opened with a vertical ventilation shaft, fitted with a ladder which allows the mine to be exited.

  11. Swampy 11

    Someone tel EPMU t butt out of their campaign. The royal commission is the place to decide the rights and wrongs of this case. Its no coincident we seeing lots of unin people runnuing around telling everyone how evil Pike River Co is and that they wont support the recovery plan etc. There was another lot here yesterday trying to do their best to paoint the company as evil nasty vile c*pitalissts Sound familiar from all the other times in history the Mining unions etc etc yadda yadda

    They way these are going the commisions process will be tainted before it even begins.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Tell them yourself, tough guy. Go and talk to the families and miners around the coast and tell them the union has no business making its case.

      And your’re right about the history of mining internationally though. Mining co’s have fought unions long and hard over the safety of their workers. It’s a never ending story all right.

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