First sign of progress for the Pike River families – Pike River mine to remain unsealed, Prime Minister Bill English tells families
Pike River victims’ families say the Government’s commitment to leave the coal mine unsealed and inspect it with drone technology falls short of their requests, but is still “very positive”.
Prime Minister Bill English agreed today to put a halt to permanent sealing of the mine on the South Island’s West Coast following talks with the families at Parliament.
English refused to grant their request to re-enter the mine’s drift but agreed to look into sending a drone or other unmanned technology into the mine to investigate further.
The families’ spokesman Bernie Monk said the meeting at the Beehive was “very positive” and that they had made more progress with English than they had under previous Prime Minister John Key.
Can English be trusted?
But Anna Osborne, who lost her husband Milton in the 2010 incident, said English could have gone further. She described his commitments as “baby steps”.
“He’s not committed to giving the families any real reassurance,” she said.
English wants Pike River out of the headlines in election year. Let’s hope he’s not deliberately stringing along the Pike River families with false hope.
Sonya Rockhouse says the PM's decision will allow the families to rest, "but I'm not getting excited. We've been made promises before."
— Checkpoint (@CheckpointRNZ) February 15, 2017