A media release from Stand With Pike.
Pike Families have today released a new plan for safe re-entry of the Pike river drift written by Dr David Creedy, Vice Chair of the UN Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane, and Bob Stevenson, former UK Principal Mines Inspector.
Sonya Rockhouse, who lost her son Ben in the disaster, says the new plan shows it’s time the Government sat down and negotiated re-entry. “This isn’t just about getting our boys out, it’s about getting into the drift to get evidence of what happened down there.
“This report makes it clear that there is likely to be evidence down there that could save other lives around the world. We want justice for our boys, but we also want answers that could save other people’s sons and husbands.”
The report has been peer-reviewed and endorsed by the United Kingdom’s leading mines rescue expert Brian Robinson, and by mining ventilation experts John Rowland and Dr Roy Moreby who has advised Solid Energy on re-entry of Pike River.
Bernie Monk, who lost his son Michael, says Bill English needs to show good faith with the families and with New Zealanders. “We’ve got this far because Kiwis have backed us. Mr English needs to realise that we won’t accept him giving us the brush-off with promises of a meeting at some later date. We’ve put up with that kind of stalling and game-playing for six years.”
Anna Osborne, who lost her husband Milton, says the promises made by the last Prime Minister should be kept by this one. “For six long years we’ve been waiting to see that promise kept, and all the time they were just creeping towards sealing away our boys forever. We’ve stopped that happening now we control the road to the mine, but we want this stalemate resolved. This expert plan is how Mr English can solve it.
Dean Dunbar who lost his son Joseph, says they have waited too long. “We’re done with letting the Government buy time while they wait for us to go away. We’re not going away until we get a proper independent hearing on re-entry and a promise not to seal the mine until we are satisfied John Key’s promise to do everything he can has been met.”
Families are in Wellington until Wednesday evening and will be meeting with the leaders of other political parties during this time. They are willing to meet with Bill English at any time and any place he is available.