In memoriam

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, November 19th, 2011 - 8 comments
Categories: disaster, Mining, workers' rights - Tags:

It’s a year since the explosion at Pike River killed 29 men. Just people like you and me doing their job. It seems some semblance of justice may be delivered to those who let this disaster happen. But the lasting legacy must be a change of culture and regulations to put people’s lives before companies’ profits. So no more suffer the fate of the Pike River 29.

8 comments on “In memoriam”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    And never forget it was a bunch of Tories in 1992 who figured mining rules just get in the way of profits. The current bunch of Tories also believe fair workplace rules are a ‘throw-back to the 70s’ and rampant unionism. I wonder if folks will let them get away with it again? RIP the 29.

    • seeker 1.1

      Agreed Tom G. Many of the 1992 “tories” are still here and should be held accountable. Their deregulation antics have cost so much human suffering and now the lives of these 29 precious men.The dollar and themselves are the only variables tories appear to take into account when they indulge in their selfish, short term, almost criminally deficient, limited- thinking sprees.

      May these wonderful, brave men rest in eternal peace. They will never be forgotten.

  2. BooNats 2

    So the Pike mine finally began its operations in 2009, thereafter Minister Wilkinson receives a NZ mine safety report concerning the issues of current mines. In that report was specifically the concerns
    with Pike, no action taken. Following the tragedy of the explosion she had the spotlight.
    She swept away and glibly dismissed the questions as she travelled on down the Parliamentary corridor with a statement to the effect that it was only about small mines????
    Question; A Minister’s portfolio makes them the equivalent of a private sector CEO and the top CEO in State affairs; should Wilkinsons swing or at least have to be accountable at the Commission too?

  3. uke 3

    The photographs of the 29 miners today in The Weekend Dompost really brought home this tragedy again for me. Some were very young: only 17 in the case of Joseph Dunbar; others in their 20s; right up to Keith Valli aged 62, who probably had grandkids. What an awful waste. Row upon row of their faces. RIP.
     
    There is also a really good diagram of the mine, which shows just what a deathtrap-in-waiting it was. A 2.4km-long access tunnel and ventilation shaft as escape routes. Russell Smith describes being in the access tunnel when the explosion happened: “Rocks were whistling past me in the cab. I would have been blown away like a lily if I hadn’t been in the loader. They said [the tunnel] was like a gun barrel and they’re right.”
     
    I imagine there would very little chance of getting out of this mine alive if something big went wrong at the face.

  4. A terrible, pointless and avoidable tragedy.
    Condolences to the many families who lost loved ones.
    I hope they will eventually see some justice.

    • mik e 4.1

      And compensation only one of the 29 families have had compensation from the fund set up by New Zealanders to help these families Brownoselee and mankey were only to happy to jump on the photo op but typically quick to promise but no delivery.

  5. vto 5

    Heads should roll at Ministerial level. Those respoinsible for deregulating the mining safety rules have contributed to the deaths of these men to such an extent that they may as well have caused these deaths.

    Similarly, Pike River owners, directors and top management should have heads roll.

    This was entirely preventable. It was human failure. It was not even an accident. It was negligence on a grand and deadly scale.

    So, will heads roll?

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