Labour accelerates action on Pike River re-entry

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, November 21st, 2017 - 182 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, Andrew Little, health and safety, jacinda ardern, labour, making shit up, Mining, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, Unions, workers' rights, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Andrew Little has been performing some outstanding work in his new minister’s role.  He has already made some significant decisions, decided that justice for Teina Pora required an increase payment, and has met with Ngāpuhi in an effort to get its treaty claim back on track.

And he has sped up Government action in trying to find out what happened at Pike River.

From Radio New Zealand:

A new stand-alone government agency will be established in January, to start planning for a manned re-entry into the drift of the Pike River Mine.

The department – which will have budget of up to $23 million over three years – has been announced this afternoon by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little, the minister responsible for the issue.

The Pike River Recovery Agency – Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa – would be tasked with coming up with a plan to have the re-entry completed by March 2019.

Yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of the Pike River Mine disaster, in which 29 people were killed.

Ms Ardern said the agency would be working with the families of the 29 miners killed in the 2010 explosions on decisions about re-entering the mine.

“We’re giving them the committment we’re doing everything within our power to try, and that’s all they’ve ever asked from us,” she said.

The re-entry plan would involve going in to a previously unexplored 400 metre section of the drift.

The purpose of that would be to gather evidence to help put together a better picture of what happened at the mine in the lead-up to the explosions and in the aftermath, to prevent a repeat.

Little has taken an active approach to the issue since day one when he was head of what is now Etu Union.

National is criticising him for now not promising a manned entry of the mine no matter what and for not continuing its plan for a robot entry of the mine.  But such criticism is ludicrous.

Again from Radio New Zealand:

Mr Little said the final decision about whether the re-entry would go ahead would rest with him.

He said the normal risk and hazard assessments would take place and his decision would be based on advice from the agency – which would be peer reviewed – as well as an independent advisor.

Ms Ardern said the government did not believe at this stage that any changes to health and safety legislation needed to be made to execute the re-entry.

Meanwhile, Ms Ardern has also scrapped current plans to send in a robot into the mine, which was due to be sent in by Christmas.

“Our view was that the evidence that sat behind that exercise doesn’t stack up and we should focus our efforts, energy and resources into a manned entry.”

This was not a surprising move, as Mr Little said earlier this month the plan, directed by the previous National-led goverment and Solid Energy, was an unfair “experiment ” on the families.

National is trying to say that Labour has now adopted National’s position and there is no difference.  From Stuff:

National workplace relations spokeswoman Amy Adams said the government had “wound back” its promises, from both prior to the election and in recent weeks.

“This approach closely reflects the view of the previous government – that safety is paramount.”

The Government recognised it could not waive health and safety laws, rush or force a re-entry, Adams said.

“The National Party continues to support re-entry, if it can be safely achieved and I would encourage the Government to listen to the experts.”

But the Pike River families is having none of this criticism.  The big differences are that instead of being excluded the families will have a significant part in the decision making process and at least now proactive action is being taken.  Again from Stuff:

Pike River family spokesman Bernie Monk, who lost his son Michael in the disaster, said the families could not ask for more than what the new government had done.

“After seven years of stalling and of being fobbed off by the last government, we’re now making great strides towards re-entering the drift and recovering remains and evidence,” he said.

“This is really important to us, but it is also important to all of New Zealand, we should not be a country where a crime-scene goes unexamined for seven years.”

While other family members were excited by Monday’s announcement, Monk said it was bitter sweet – this progress could have been made a long time ago.

“There will be no celebration here until the job is done,” he said.

Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton died in the mine, has said the families didn’t take this lightly.

“We’ve all lost loved ones so we know what that feels like to lose a loved one in a workplace accident. So we don’t want anyone to risk their lives going into a mine to retrieve our loved ones’ remains.”

But expert advice to date said a manned entry was possible.

Osborne said the involvement of family members in the creation of the agency showed the job would be done properly.

“This is a transparent and inclusive process and we’ve made it clear that safety comes first.”

Sonya Rockhouse, who lost her son Ben in the mine, said it really felt like they’d hit the ground running.

I am not surprised that National is trying to spin this.  What has happened is a travesty.  As a minimum there should have been a proper investigation of what happened and a real prosecution should have happened.  As a country we owe it to the Pike River families to find out what really happened.

182 comments on “Labour accelerates action on Pike River re-entry”

  1. dv 1

    The National Party continues to support re-entry, if it can be safely achieved and I would encourage the Government to listen to the experts.”

    HUH

    The Natz were planning to concrete the mine up. How does that allow reentry!!!

  2. CLEANGREEN 2

    National are lying again as they claim Labour is following the same policy as they did.

    NoNoNo. National never offered “proper consultation” with the west coast people.

    We in HB/Gisborne under national were never offered “proper consultation” when National stole our rail funding for Auckland Commuter rail and caused the lack of rail mainainence to wash out a section of our rail in 2012.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1302/S00183/kiwirail-admits-lack-of-maintenance-led-to-wash-out.htm

    Today in 2017 we are all still wating for labour/NZF/Green promises to restore our rail again.

    We in HB/Gisborne and the West coast know this;

    National party = profuse liars.

    • tc 2.1

      Time the punters were used rather than the pollys in explaining to the rest of NZ what pathological liars national are.

      National used Pike River to redraft OHS laws allegedly under Talleys directives….lest we forget

      • james 2.1.1

        Do you have ANY evidence AT ALL that the OHS laws were redrafted under Talleys directives?

        Thats a hell of a claim – Im calling bullshit

      • tracey 2.1.2

        I am with James on this. Are you being sarcastic? If not what do you base this on?

  3. Philg 3

    “… we should not be a country where a crime-scene goes unexamined for seven years.”
    Thank you Bernie.
    I can’t think of a better quote to highlight the seriousness of this issue. It is the canary in the coalmine of NZ’s compromised justice system/Demockary. Remember Erebus, Winebox, Arthur Allan Thomas, Tena Pora ECAN etc…

  4. adam 4

    The national party, always looking for ways to shit on workers, even when they are dead.

  5. weka 5

    National really are absolute pieces of shit to keep politicising this, and lying to boot.

    I’ve also seen some left wing argument that Labour are reneging on their pre-election promises because they can’t guarantee entry. To me this is both playing into RW distortion narratives, and it’s holding Labour to account at a level that just isn’t possible for any government. Pre-Election the govt parties said they would go back into the mine. I find it hard to believe that anyone took that to mean re-entry would happen even if people were killed doing that.

    So it looks like Labour are taking the right steps – moving quickly but with consideration for the best way to do this legislatively and with regard for safety. Afaik they still consider entry to be possibly based on the expert advice they’ve been given. I assume that because of the large budget, much of the planning here is not just on accessing the bodies, but investigating what happened.

    The latter might be what National are concerned about, and if so we can expect the bullshit and obfuscation to jump some notches.

    • Grantoc 5.1

      Weka

      Is Winston Peters, to quote you, also an “absolute piece of shit”? He more than any other politician politicised Pike River in the run up to the election when he stated that he would lead a team into the drift because he had ‘evidence’ that it was safe to do so.

      This was the most blatant and obscene example of politicising the Pike River tragedy that there has been so far.

      I wonder if he still proposes to go into the mine? He remains silent on this issue.

      • weka 5.1.1

        Sure, Peters politicised an issue during an election campaign. But he didn’t then reverse his whole policy and position to garner votes or post election to try and undermine the govt.

        Whatever criticisms I have about Peters (and I’m on record as having substantial ones), he’s not a liar nor has he deliberately undermined democracy by creating a culture of deception as normal politics. That National are now permanently on that path is no surprise but they still deserve to be called utter fuckeits over this particular issue. People died. Get a grip and some morals and some basic human decency.

      • tracey 5.1.2

        What do you think of Adams deliberately misleading people about the difference between Labour and Nats stance on re entry?

    • infused 5.2

      Winston politicised the shit out of this already.

  6. Fake policy made up by National now it’s no longer in government:

    “The National Party continues to support re-entry, if it can be safely achieved and I would encourage the Government to listen to the experts.”

    Actual policy of National when in government:

    Nick Smith tells Pike River supporters: ‘We will seal mine’.

    Only reason that policy failed:

    Solid Energy’s attempts to seal the Pike River mine will be met with a literal road block after the owners of the mine’s access road gave the victim’s families legal control of the road.

    National are lying fucks.

  7. Baba Yaga 7

    This piece is an heroic attempt to cover over Andrew Little’s involvement in Pike. Thankfully others have documented his incompetence.

    http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/andrew-little-and-pike-river-fatally.html

    As for promises, well Labour and Little have been all over the place on this. On one hand Little said he would consider waiving health and safety laws to re-enter Pike (https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/98390520/andrew-little-govt-may-waive-health-and-safety-laws-for-pike-river-reentry?cid=edm:stuff:politicallycorrect&bid=455878407), now he’s saying Pike will be re-entered if it can be achieved safely, exactly the same position as National’s, and certainly not the position taken in the pre-election narrative or the Coalition Agreement.

    The idea of a full investigation into what caused Pike is an excellent one, and something that should have been done by the previous Government. But please don’t mistake Little for anything other than an incompetent bungler.

    • …now he’s saying Pike will be re-entered if it can be achieved safely, exactly the same position as National’s…

      Exactly the same as the fake position National is now claiming to have. For their actual position, see my comment 6.

      • Baba Yaga 7.1.1

        It’s still the same position.

        • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1

          The word “same” isn’t really built to describe a policy of sealing the mine vs a policy of re-entering if it proves safe. I know that politicians are past masters of bullshit, but not even Key himself could square that circle.

          • Baba Yaga 7.1.1.1.1

            National’s policy was re-entry if it was safe. They were advised it wasn’t. Now that is Labour’s policy too. It’s a pathetic back-down.

    • …Little said he would consider waiving health and safety laws to re-enter Pike…

      Given that National was using those laws as a fig leaf for not re-entering the mine, that’s a well-duh. However, it’s not the same as promising to enter the mine even if it was likely to kill people – that’s just right-wing bullshit, as you well know.

      • Baba Yaga 7.2.1

        The point is they have backtracked on that already.

        • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1

          Can you point to where Labour said they’d send people into Pike River even if it was likely to result in deaths? Because that’s what you’re claiming.

          • Baba Yaga 7.2.1.1.1

            No, I’m not.

            What I’m saying is that Labour’s pre-election position was unequivocal.

            In the Coalition Agreement, their position was unequivocal. They would Commit to re-entry to Pike River. No conditions.

            Then they said they might change the law (https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/98390520/andrew-little-govt-may-waive-health-and-safety-laws-for-pike-river-reentry?cid=edm:stuff:politicallycorrect&bid=455878407).

            Then they said they wouldn’t.

            Now they’re saying they will only go in if it’s safe. Which of course is the sensible position. Finally.

            • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1.1.1

              What I’m saying is that Labour’s pre-election position was unequivocal.

              Exactly. You’re saying their position was that they’d send people into the mine even if proved fatal. Because if you’re not saying that, there is no back-tracking. Which is it?

              • Baba Yaga

                “You’re saying their position was that they’d send people into the mine even if proved fatal.”

                No, I’m not. I’m saying they gave no caveats. Which was stupid. And dishonest. And which is why John Armstrong got it right (https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/john-armstrong-pike-river-re-entry-never-going-happen)

                • You’re claiming we should assume the government has a policy of deliberately risking people’s lives unless it specifically declares that it won’t. That would make for some very long policy documents, but fortunately the rest of us are aware you’re bullshitting, not voicing a genuinely-held view.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    “You’re claiming we should assume the government has a policy of deliberately risking people’s lives unless it specifically declares that it won’t. ”

                    No. I’m saying they should not have made promises they couldn’t possibly keep. And it isn’t only Labour.

                    • No. I’m saying they should not have made promises they couldn’t possibly keep. And it isn’t only Labour.

                      Jeezus on a stick, they’re been in power for a month and already you’re accusing them of breaking an election promise? Babayaga (aka, 3stepstotheright/maninthemiddle, et al), you are wilfully creating a situation that not only does not exist – but has not had time to develop as a “broken promise!

                      It’s pretty clear that you’re a right-wing troll trying to spin a scenario that is a fantasy in your mind.

                      Jeezus, even Key had a longer “honeymoon” with the Left before he was revealed to be a duplicitous liar.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “they’re been in power for a month and already you’re accusing them of breaking an election promise? ”

                      Yes. It didn’t take them long, eh?

                      PS if you had been here a bit longer you would know my indifference to all politicians and political parties. I had some hope this government would be better than the last. Their position on Pike River and other matters appears they are not.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “It’s pretty clear that you’re a right-wing troll trying to spin a scenario that is a fantasy in your mind.”

                      So engage in a sensible debate. It’s easy to hit and run, much harder to actually try to put up a case.

                      The case against Little’s involvement and Labour’s grandstanding on this is clear. So refute it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oh now I see the light.

                      Poor bleating Baba3stepsinthemiddleyaga is concerned. A little cowering sponge, full of absorbed ACT dirty dishwater and terrified about the inevitable ascension of the detergent.

                      Why can’t we have some charity for the 0.5%? Some mercy, some compassion! Say it with cobblestones.

    • Thankfully others have documented his incompetence.

      In this case, an old Trotskyite who considers Andrew Little’s incompetence to have been his willingness to try and work with employers rather than steadfastly and vigorously opposing them at every turn. Are you putting your hand up to agree that that constitutes “incompetence” for a union leader?

      • Baba Yaga 7.3.1

        What constitutes incompetence is declaring the working conditions at Pike safe, when they patently weren’t,

        • McFlock 7.3.1.1

          careful, you’re sliding to the point of making shit up, there.

          • Baba Yaga 7.3.1.1.1

            http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/andrew-little-and-pike-river-fatally.html

            “It was Andrew Little who, after the first explosion, claimed to the NZ Herald (November 22 2010) that there was “nothing unusual about Pike River or this mine that we’ve been particularly concerned about”.”

            “It was a view he repeated to RNZ National’s Morning Report, also on November 22:

             “Every mine on the West Coast takes great care when it goes into production and I don’t think Pike River is any different from that. They’ve had a good health and safety committee that’s been very active. So there’s nothing before now that’s alerted us to any greater risk of this sort of incident happening than at any other time.””

            • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1.1

              That’s not the same as declaring it safe. And “declaring the working conditions at Pike safe” a day or so after 29 people were lost in an explosion would be self-evidently stupid.

              Saying the mine did not seem to be operating any differently to other mines, seemed to be active when it came to safety, and raised no serious concerns before the fucking huge explosion occurred is a reasonable statement to make, and raises the possibility of industry-wide failures.

              Your failure to understand the english language seems to have coloured your perception of the situation – or vice versa.

              • Baba Yaga

                “That’s not the same as declaring it safe. ”

                Yes it is. Little was employed by the Union responsible for representing these men. He failed.

                • McFlock

                  *yawn*
                  No it isn’t.
                  Is thinking your least-preferred option, or are you simply incapable of it?

                  • Baba Yaga

                    It is the same McFlock. Or you’ll be able to post references to where Little declared the working conditions at the mine unsafe.

                    • McFlock

                      No. That would be evidence he said conditions were unsafe.
                      The comments you quoted someone else selectively editing were simply saying that Pike River was not out of the ordinary for mines in NZ, and had seemed to be actively managing its hazards.

                      If he had said the mine was safe, you’d have quotes saying things like “the mine is safe”. All you have is him saying he doesn’t think the mine was any different to any other mine on the west coast.

                      Now, that goes to union coverage and the shortcomings of mines inspection in general, but it’s not a declaration of safety. It’s a declaration of normality.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “All you have is him saying he doesn’t think the mine was any different to any other mine on the west coast.”

                      Little praised their Health & Safety Committee.

                      He said that they take great care.

                      And he was specifically contradicted about his views on that specific mine by miner Brent Forrester and Gerry Morris.

                      Now you will post your reference to Little saying the mine was unsafe.

                    • Priss

                      “Baba Yaga”, your posting style reminds me of someone… you haven’t taken 3 steps to the right, have you?

                    • McFlock

                      🙄 previously addressed.

                      I see that now you’re at the stage of demanding things that you deem are relevant based on your inadequate understanding of the english language.

                      Pretty soon you’ll be claiming you’ve won major victories against everyone else. And that must be true, otherwise you’re just an infantile tory whose schtick is to be semi-literate but functionally incompetent.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      ““Baba Yaga”, your posting style reminds me of someone… you haven’t taken 3 steps to the right, have you?”

                      No, I have just returned from a 1 month ban. I have centrist views, and have no party affiliation. For some reason my current posts may make me sound that way though!

                • Fuck you. If the EPMU had started promoting industrial action at the mine you’d have been first to demand the government do something to stop this return to 1970s workplace disruption. Don’t expect people to be polite with you over this.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    Industrial action to support safety would have had my full support. It clearly didn’t have Andrew Little’s.

            • Psycho Milt 7.3.1.1.1.2

              What incompetence is demonstrated there? It appears to be an accurate assessment. The fact that nothing alerted the union to the risk is something for an investigation to figure out – there is of course the possibility that incompetence in the union was a factor in it, but that’s something that would need to be demonstrated, not just asserted by Trotskyites and right-wing bullshit artists as though it were fact.

              Let’s also keep front and centre the facts that health and safety at the mine was the responsibility of the company, not the EPMU. Right-wingers always find unions suddenly very valuable when they’re looking to shift the blame for disasters off the people actually responsible for them. Fuck that and fuck them.

              • Baba Yaga

                “It appears to be an accurate assessment. ”

                Ah, no.

                “But Little’s view that everything was fine at Pike River was contradicted by miner Brent Forrester. He told TVNZ’s Sunday (December 5 2010) that he once helped organise a walkout of some ten miners to protest the lack of basic emergency equipment, including stretchers and an emergency transport vehicle. He also said they had received no support from the EPMU.

                Little’s apparent lack of concern about what was happening at Pike River and his willingness to believe what management told him, was also highlighted by Gerry Morris of Greymouth, a former writer for Coal magazine. He told the NZ Herald that he had heard regularly from contractors at the mine that “over the last two or three years that this mine is unsafe, there’s far too much gas, there’s going to be a disaster here one day”.”

                http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/andrew-little-and-pike-river-fatally.html

                “Let’s also keep front and centre the facts that health and safety at the mine was the responsibility of the company, not the EPMU.”

                Absolutely. And if the author of this post wishes to write a piece attempting to turn management at the mine into heroes, I will argue with the same venom I am here against it.

                • Maybe you should take this new-found discovery of the importance of unions in holding employers to account back to that thread about the Wellington train strike.

                  • McFlock

                    lol

                  • Baba Yaga

                    That sounds like an evasion away from addressing my post.

                    • Priss

                      “That sounds like an evasion away from addressing my post.”

                      Actually, no, “Babayaga/3steps”. Milt’s made a very good point in that you decry the necessity of unions on one blogpost but condemn their alleged “inactivity on safety issues” on this one.

                      Your hypocrisy is clear enough. Why you’re making a fool of yourself on a forum like The Standard, isn’t.

                    • Just pointing out how laughable your sudden enthusiasm for Trotskyist Marxism and union militance is.

                      But yeah, your comment. You and Steven Cowan share a common view of who the real enemy is: unions and the Labour Party. Which is why Cowan is keen to spin the disaster as due to the failings of Little and the EPMU, and why you’re happy to quote the spin.

                      In reality, there’s nothing in the quotes you provide from Cowan to suggest the EPMU was even aware of any safety concerns at the mine, let alone that it deliberately ignored them. That’s just shit Cowan and you are making up.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “Milt’s made a very good point in that you decry the necessity of unions on one blogpost but condemn their alleged “inactivity on safety issues” on this one.”

                      I haven’t at any point decried the necessity of unions. The point is, though, that Milt didn’t address /labour-accelerates-action-on-pike-river-re-entry/#comment-1416832, but chose to sidestep.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “Which is why Cowan is keen to spin the disaster as due to the failings of Little and the EPMU, and why you’re happy to quote the spin. ”

                      Clearly you haven’t read the Cowan’s post. Cowan is pointing out Little’s hypocrisy, not blaming him for the events at Pike. Here’s an actual quote:

                      “Although minimal attention is likely to drawn by both the corporate media and Labour-supporting websites to Little’s role in the Pike River disaster, his benevolent attitude towards the management of the mine makes him a poor choice to oversee the supposed re-entry of the mine. He is fatally compromised – but he’s not the only one.”

                      “In reality, there’s nothing in the quotes you provide from Cowan to suggest the EPMU was even aware of any safety concerns at the mine, let alone that it deliberately ignored them. ”

                      As I thought…you didn’t read the article.

                      “But Little’s view that everything was fine at Pike River was contradicted by miner Brent Forrester. He told TVNZ’s Sunday (December 5 2010) that he once helped organise a walkout of some ten miners to protest the lack of basic emergency equipment, including stretchers and an emergency transport vehicle. He also said they had received no support from the EPMU.

                      Little’s apparent lack of concern about what was happening at Pike River and his willingness to believe what management told him, was also highlighted by Gerry Morris of Greymouth, a former writer for Coal magazine. He told the NZ Herald that he had heard regularly from contractors at the mine that “over the last two or three years that this mine is unsafe, there’s far too much gas, there’s going to be a disaster here one day”.”

                      ttp://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/andrew-little-and-pike-river-fatally.html

                    • That quote is the exact same quote you posted earlier, and which I pointed out doesn’t include anything to suggest the EPMU was even aware of issues at the mine, let alone deliberately ignoring them.

                      I pointed that out because, duh-uh, the quotes don’t include anything to suggest the EPMU was even aware of issues at the mine, let alone deliberately ignoring them. Cowan does an excellent job of implying that somehow Little ought to have known what Brent Forrester and Gerry Morris knew, but, like you, offers no basis for that implication.

                      The other quote you’ve included there is an expression of Steven Cowan’s opinion, which carries no more weight than yours does. His claims about “Little’s role in the Pike River disaster” and $4 will get you a cup of coffee.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      That quote is the exact same quote you posted earlier, and which I pointed out doesn’t include anything to suggest the EPMU was even aware of issues at the mine”

                      So are you suggesting the EPMU knew NOTHING about the “walkout of some ten miners to protest the lack of basic emergency equipment, including stretchers and an emergency transport vehicle.”? The union who represents the workers knew nothing about a walkout? Yeah, right.

                      Or, that when Brent Forrester says that he received “no support from the EPMU.” it was because he hadn’t told them anything? Yeah, right.

                      Or that despite Gerry Morris hearing “regularly from contractors at the mine that “over the last two or three years that this mine is unsafe, there’s far too much gas, there’s going to be a disaster here one day”.” that the EPMU knew NOTHING about this? Yeah, right.

                    • So are you suggesting the EPMU knew NOTHING about the “walkout of some ten miners to protest the lack of basic emergency equipment, including stretchers and an emergency transport vehicle.”?

                      1. I’m suggesting that we have no basis for knowing whether the EPMU knew about it, not that that seems to trouble you or Cowan at all. It’s not a given that workers tell the union everything they do, and non-union-members definitely don’t tell the union stuff.

                      2. Even if they had mentioned it, there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t have fit with Little’s statement that there was “nothing unusual about Pike River or this mine that we’ve been particularly concerned about,” ie if all the mines have flaws in their safety procedures, this wouldn’t stand out.

                      Or, that when Brent Forrester says that he received “no support from the EPMU.” it was because he hadn’t told them anything?

                      Again, who knows? I’m not about to leap to conclusions over it. I’ve become used to hearing complaints about tech support from people outraged that nothing’s ever been done about this problem, and finding they’ve never logged a job about it. I expect unions have the same problem.

                      Or that despite Gerry Morris hearing “regularly from contractors at the mine that “over the last two or three years that this mine is unsafe, there’s far too much gas, there’s going to be a disaster here one day”.” that the EPMU knew NOTHING about this?

                      Why exactly would an employees’ union have heard anything about anything from contractors? You do know what a contractor is, I presume?

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “I’m suggesting that we have no basis for knowing whether the EPMU knew about it”

                      10 workers walking off the job in a strike without any Union knowledge before or after? Are you serious? If you are you must think even less of Andrew Little than I do.

                    • To repeat:

                      1. Who knows? Certainly not you.

                      2. Even if the EPMU did know, what basis was there for seeing it as unusual? Who knows? Certainly not you.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “Even if the EPMU did know”
                      They knew.

                      “what basis was there for seeing it as unusual?”

                      “Little’s apparent lack of concern about what was happening at Pike River and his willingness to believe what management told him, was also highlighted by Gerry Morris of Greymouth, a former writer for Coal magazine. He told the NZ Herald that he had heard regularly from contractors at the mine that “over the last two or three years that this mine is unsafe, there’s far too much gas, there’s going to be a disaster here one day”.”

                      See no evil, hear no evil…

                    • Are you aware that repetition of assertions doesn’t increase their credibility?

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “Are you aware that repetition of assertions doesn’t increase their credibility?”
                      I haven’t repeated assertions. The quotes clearly show that some saw the position at Pike as anything but usual, which directly contradicts your own claim.

                    • McFlock

                      What are you, two? Person A claims to see something therefore you think person B sees it as well?

                      Scratch that, I know a two year old who has a solid handle on peek-a-boo. You’re literally dumber than a two year old.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “Person A claims to see something therefore you think person B sees it as well?”

                      Ok, I’ll make this simple for you. PM asked “Even if the EPMU did know, what basis was there for seeing it as unusual?” I quoted two specific individuals who clearly saw the situation as unusual. The EPMU were told, even PM is prepared to admit that now.

            • Frank Macskasy 7.3.1.1.1.3

              You are quoting from a conservative/right-wing blog as some sort of impartial reporting?! Really?

              Why not go the whole hog and cite ‘Whaleoil’? That’d be even better for a laugh, LOL! 😀

              • Baba Yaga

                BANG!

                There goes the messenger.

                • Baba Yaga

                  “Little’s apparent lack of concern about what was happening at Pike River and his willingness to believe what management told him, was also highlighted by Gerry Morris of Greymouth, a former writer for Coal magazine. He told the NZ Herald that he had heard regularly from contractors at the mine that “over the last two or three years that this mine is unsafe, there’s far too much gas, there’s going to be a disaster here one day”.”

                  So is Gerry Morris a conservative right winger?

                  How about miner Brent Forrester?

                  “He told TVNZ’s Sunday (December 5 2010) that he once helped organise a walkout of some ten miners to protest the lack of basic emergency equipment, including stretchers and an emergency transport vehicle. He also said they had received no support from the EPMU.”

                  • I notice your tendency (which you used under your former pseudonyms) to make references and quotations, without offering citations. Then when pressed for a citation, you triumphantly produce one, as if to “score a point”.

                    How about you put your citations in the same body of text as the actual quotations, eh?

                    • Baba Yaga

                      The quotes above come from the same source I have frequently quoted. You’ve come into this discussion late. Try catching up.

                    • I stand by my observation: you often make references and quotes without attribution and only when challenged do you provide them. You do so with a ‘flourish’ as if you’re proving a point – which you’re not.

                      I’ve detected two citations which are largely irrelevant to the points you were lamely trying to make.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “you often make references and quotes without attribution ”
                      Examples?

            • Frank Macskasy 7.3.1.1.1.4

              You made your views on trade union involvement in the workplace fairly clear on another blogpost discussion;

              Sorry, but that is complete nonsense. There are dodgy employer, just as their are dodgy workers, but the vast majority of both work well together in the interests of both. Invoking some kind of 1970’s attitude to industrial relations in 2017 just harms your own credibility.

              ref: /wellington-rail-workers-strike-to-defend-their-working-conditions/#comment-1416386

              That is not my experience (as both an employee and an employer) or my observation. It is also not supported by the fact that so few NZ worker choose union representation in the workplace. Clearly most do not see the threat you do.

              ref: /wellington-rail-workers-strike-to-defend-their-working-conditions/#comment-1415883

              Actually the industrial relationships legal framework has changed very little over the past 20 years. And the changes you’re referring to had no impact on union membership, so they’re hardly relevant.

              ref: /wellington-rail-workers-strike-to-defend-their-working-conditions/#comment-1416436

              …because clearly they don’t see it as being in their best interest.

              ref: /wellington-rail-workers-strike-to-defend-their-working-conditions/#comment-1416387

              That doesn’t follow. And it isn’t my position. But that the fact that so few workers do join a union does indicate that most don’t believe it is necessary or desirable. Otherwise they would join.

              ref: /wellington-rail-workers-strike-to-defend-their-working-conditions/#comment-1416803

              There’s more, but I think we get the general gist of your luke-warm attitude toward unions and worker involvement.

              Your faux support for union in that you “applaud the unions for what they have achieved over many years against exploitative employers and industries, and I welcome union involvement in workplaces I am involved with” – is crap.

              You may be “the CEO of a kiwi owned international business” – but your comments are straight out of Bill Birch’s handbook for the implementation of the Employment Contracts Act.

              In plain words 3stepstotheright Baba mate, you’re full of it.

              • Baba Yaga

                “You made your views on trade union involvement in the workplace fairly clear on another blogpost discussion;”

                Thank you. Yes I support the right of workers to voluntarily choose to be union members or not. I also support the work unions so and have done for many, many years. I suggest the difference between us is you don’t employ anyone, and are not employed by anyone. So you have very little understanding of how 21st century industrial relations actually works. Am I right?

                • No, you’re not correct. (Right, yes, as in right-wing. But not correct.)

                  You’ve made your disdain for trade unions fairly well known and clear. So your crocodile tears here for workers aren’t very much appreciated…

                  As for your assumption that “the difference between us is you don’t employ anyone” is (a) irrelevant – and harks back to your barely disguised disdain of unions – and (b) wrong.

                  Your understanding of “how 21st century industrial relations actually works” is from your own employer perspective. So it explains your views on trade unions.

                  It also explains how you’re exploiting this issue to create a “broken promise” scenario that is pure bullshit.

                  But what really amuses me is that you think your comments would be taken at face value on this forum, with some fairly highly experienced left-wing activists.

                  You must have an awful lot of spare time on your hands as a “CEO” to be posting so much.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    “You’ve made your disdain for trade unions fairly well known and clear. ”

                    No, you’re confusing me with someone else. Or you’re deliberately misleading. I harbour no animosity to unions. I have worked with several over the years, always amicably. You simply can’t understand that there is a link between declining union membership and harmonious industrial relationships. That’s your shortcoming, not mine.

                    In the meantime, I ask again, are you an employer or an employee? If neither, when were you last an employer or an employee?

                    • No, you’re confusing me with someone else. Or you’re deliberately misleading. I harbour no animosity to unions.

                      Of course not. You just want them neutered and powerless.
                      Your reference to “some kind of 1970’s attitude to industrial relations” – when unions were at their most effective – belies your faux “admiration” of trade unions.

                      You’re the sort of employer who advocates for unions – as long as they’re not “uppity” and know their place.

                      Or, to quote you; “the fact that so few workers do join a union does indicate that most don’t believe it is necessary or desirable”.

                      At a time when wage-growth is all but stagnant and the previous National government further eroded trade union power, unions are more relevant than ever.

                      Just not the “1970s variety”.

                      In case you missed it first time, 3steps/babayaga: you’re full of it.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “You just want them neutered and powerless.”
                      Absolutely not. In fact if I look at this from a purely selfish point of view, I want strong unions, because that would potentially mitigate against bad behaviour by my competitors, behaviour I am not ethically prepared to entertain. As it happens I don’t have that problem, because workplaces in NZ are for the most part harmonious. Which is why only 20% of the population (and those mainly civil servants I suspect) join a union.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  What do your betters’ employment status have to do with the quality of their argument, you fetid sponge?

                  I fit both your criteria and I think you’re a piece of shit with talking points to match, and more importantly, the rote-learned drivel you parrot is a cancer on this country.

                  Bring on the Chemo.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    Then you need help with your bitterness. And your knowledge of the workplace.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Meanwhile, on Earth, your knowledge of English comprehension 101 doesn’t exist: I fit both your criteria.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “I fit both your criteria”

                      I can only be thankful that you are neither my employer or my employee! It must be a basket of laughs where you work.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah, we’re all miserable and downtrodden. Nothing brightens our days. Apart from good humour and choice clients.

    • mauī 7.4

      All I remember from the previous government’s Neck Minute Smith was him saying over and over again it was too unsafe to enter the mine. There was no emphasis on re-entry.

    • tracey 7.5

      Did you miss the Royal Commission report

      • Baba Yaga 7.5.1

        “Did you miss the Royal Commission report”

        No. But I agree with the sentiment of Jacinda Ardern when she says a crime scene should not go un-investigated for 7 years. My beef is with Labour’s pre-election rhetoric, which was inherently dishonest.

        • tracey 7.5.1.1

          Out of interest who did you vote for? It is just that so many vote for liars and then bemoan dishonesty.

          • Baba Yaga 7.5.1.1.1

            If you voted, then you most likely voted for liars, because virtually all politicians lie. That Labour supporters somehow thought their party was immune says more about their stupidity than anything else.

            PS. In my experience the most honest political grouping in NZ are the Greens. They are far more honest than their Australian counterparts (https://polyfeministix.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/lies-and-lies-from-the-greens-it-is-time-labor-fought-back/), and although I’m not a supporter, I admire the fact that they stand for what they believe. Even if it gets them constantly shafted by their ‘allies’.

            • Frank Macskasy 7.5.1.1.1.1

              In my experience the most honest political grouping in NZ are the Greens. They are far more honest than their Australian counterparts

              Funny… that wasn’t the sentiment you expressed under your previous pseudonym, 3steps to the right, when you posted;

              You see 1AB, Hughes ‘Clint’ moments, and the Green parties acceptance of a benefit cheat is the benchmark by which this government has begun.

              ref: /so-there-was-a-housing-crisis-after-all/#comment-1409829

              You voted Green. I accept your apology!!

              ref: /so-there-was-a-housing-crisis-after-all/#comment-1409679

              As usual, more BS from you.

              • Baba Yaga

                Funny that you continue to confuse me with someone else. Is that a deliberate tactic to avoid actually discussing the issues?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes, I think your continual name changes are a tactic to avoid actually discussing issues.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    You seem to be doing a good job at avoiding actually discussing the issues!

                    National on the Manus Island crisis

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Pfft.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      Touched a nerve, did he?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Touched a nerve, did he*?

                      Yeah. The strawman nerve.

                      *how do you know?

                    • Baba Yaga

                      ““no, it’s a naive belief that your particular brand of slimy, lying, stupidity is unique even amongst tory trolls.””

                      Fair enough. But I disagree. I have posted links to support my arguments, and there have been no lies. Any mistakes I make, however, are all mine, and I am happy to stand to be corrected.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      They aren’t your arguments: they’re your beliefs, derived from third part sources.

                      That’s why ” ‘think’ tanks” exist: to circumvent peer review, to insulate you from inconvenient facts. S Rylands can tell you all about it.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      ‘They aren’t your arguments: they’re your beliefs, derived from third part sources.”

                      That’s one of your more interesting comments, so I’ll engage.

                      Wouldn’t you agree that arguments are “a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory”?

                • McFlock

                  Funny that you continue to confuse me with someone else. Is that a deliberate tactic to avoid actually discussing the issues?

                  no, it’s a naive belief that your particular brand of slimy, lying, stupidity is unique even amongst tory trolls.

                  I’m more at home with the concept that entitled boofheads and private schools sometimes pass through a phase of visiting leftish blogs (between bouts of date-rape and criminal damage paid off by daddy) and parroting slogans they read on Ayn Rand fanfic porn sites, believing themselves to be the next John Gault or whatever.

                  I like to think that my opinion is, in the respect, more positive than Robert’s. It means that you’ll grow up and stop taking a dump here.

                  The thing is, though, that you’re not original. you’re not clever. You’re an idiot, and like all the previous clones, eventually you’ll fuck off or cop a permaban. But sometime after that you or an interchangable boofhead will come back under another handle – maninthemiddle, acrophobic, 3stepstotheright, and so on. All the same brand of boofhead fool.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    Troll? Your entire post above is trolling. Good grief man, get a grip.

                    • McFlock

                      You asked. I answered. If you didn’t like the answer, grow up and don’t be a boofhead.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “You asked. ”

                      In response to FRANK!

                      Labour accelerates action on Pike River re-entry

                      You didn’t answer. And who the hell’s Robert?

                    • McFlock

                      true, frank not robert. My bad.

                      Good for you. You actually managed to make a brief connection with the real world.

                      And I did answer. The question was whether he was using an evasion tactic. I answered “no, it’s a naive belief that your particular brand of slimy, lying, stupidity is unique even amongst tory trolls.”

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.5.1.2

          Wouldn’t you agree that arguments are “a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory”?

          Idea: I have lots of those, they’re worthless without rigour.

          Support for actions is no measure of worth.

          Theories require evidence and peer review before they can even be considered theories.

  8. As a minimum there should have been a proper investigation of what happened and a real prosecution should have happened.

    At this point I think that an investigation into why that proper investigation and prosecution needs to be done as well. What circle of influence prevented it.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Farrar, totally missing the point as usual, wants to give the $23million directly to the families and presumably forget all about the whole thing.

    • mary_a 9.1

      @ Muttonbird (9) … Correct in your summation. Called buying the families off, in the hope the issue will completely disapprear. It’s the corrupt Natz way of doing things.

      Poor Farrar is seriously deluded, if he thinks the Pike River families have no principles or honour, accepting money in place of finding the truth as to what caused the accident which killed their loved ones!

    • To be fair, that’s a normal Tory response – offer some blood money in exchange for not having to do anything difficult. “Everyone has their price” is the Tory motto.

  10. james 10

    I think that Labour are backtracking on this a lot. and I agree with Weka that this is not a subject to be used as a political football, but here are Jacindas comments:

    “We’ve always had specialist advice that says it is possible to do a safe, manned re-entry and that’s what we’ve committed to,” Ms Ardern said.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/09/jacinda-ardern-visits-pike-river-reiterates-recovery-pledge.html

    So Jacinda and Labour have specialist advise that it is possible to do a safe, manned re-entry.

    Based on this advise that it was possible to do a safe reentry – Labour (and the greens and nz first) signed a commitment to

    “commit that a new government we are part of will act immediately to safely re-enter, fully recover, make safe and comprehensively investigate the Pike River Mine drift.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11904669

    Then “Labour pledges to the families of Pike River, and to all New Zealanders, that we will undertake a safe re-entry of Pike River Mine,” says Jacinda Ardern.

    http://www.labour.org.nz/labour_stands_with_pike_families

    So I cannot see why they are unwilling to now use their specialist advise and deliver on their commitments.

    • weka 10.1

      What are you talking about? They are delivering. They’ve just set up a well funded agency to do what they said they’ve would.

      • james 10.1.1

        What I was trying to point out (quite poorly perhaps) – is has always been presented by labour (before becoming government) that they had evidence that it was safe and that they would commit to re-enter.

        Now that they are government – the seem to need more evidence and will only reenter if safe.

        there is a bit of a difference.

        edit: This is a touchy subject – so making a big effort to be respectful and not come across as troll-est in this.

    • I think you’re making shit up and lying to defend the dishonourable actions of National.

      • james 10.2.1

        Nope – and all quotes had links to back it up. No point in this post have I referenced anything “National”

        • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.1

          Yep but absolutely nothing in there suggested that Labour were backtracking on their promises. Which makes everything you said a lie.

          • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1.1.1

            Ok then, how about this:

            Quote: “We’ve always had specialist advice that says it is possible to do a safe, manned re-entry and that’s what we’ve committed to,” Ms Ardern said.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11945815

            “If there is going to be a re-entry … it’ll be the back half of next year, and certainly we were saying at the anniversary yesterday that perhaps by this time next year we will have a different story to tell,” Little told Radio NZ’s Morning Report.

            Little said the agency would consider the advice on whether a manned re-entry was possible, he said.

            “There are risks, and most of those risks can be managed. If there is a possibility, then let’s work towards that.”

            • mauī 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Heard of a risk assessment before?

              • james

                Yep – been done I assume – “We’ve always had specialist advice that says it is possible to do a safe, manned re-entry and that’s what we’ve committed to,” Ms Ardern said

                Unless that specialist advice that says it is safe didnt include a risk assessment?

            • McFlock 10.2.1.1.1.2

              I think I understand the problem.

              You see, Labour view “expert advice” as advice from experts as to whether something can be done and how it can be done safely. Now they have the resources and access to the mine, they can work on the “how” in detail, but in the knowledge that it might throw up some unforseen insurmountable obstacle. They will make an honest effort to enter the mine.

              National view “expert advice” as a convenient way to absolve themselves from legal and ethical responsibility.

              • Puckish Rogue

                You don’t think its odd that Jacinda (when in opposition) says they have specialist advice that manned re-entry is possible and then Andrew (when in power) says they would consider advice on manned re-entry

                • tracey

                  You are being very eagle eyed on contradictory statements now your team is not in govt? I hope this vigilance continues long after Nats next come to power.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Theres not many perks to being in opposition but one is pointing out where the current government falls short

                    You know, keeping the government honest and all 🙂

                    • tracey

                      I note you avoid a comment on keeping all govts honest. Hint. You dont achieve it by electing people who lie to your face… over and over and over.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Well Tracey its early days but the kerfuffle over the speaker was certainly not a good look from Labour “no really we gave up a position because we wanted to avoid a vote even though we knew we had the numbers” and then the whole 48 weeks maternity leave thing could be construed as a “misspoke”

                  • james

                    Then it will be your turn again 😉

                  • Macro

                    Nats will never be in a position to fit their well padded arses on Treasury benches again until such time as they find some friends. That they are such an unloved bunch of misery guts is their problem, and this whole charade of Pike River is just one example of their unloveliness.

                • McFlock

                  No.

                  Because of nact dilly-dallying and lolly-gagging, Labour’s expert advice is probably years old. Maybe the mine has further collapsed. Maybe something else has happened. Maybe the information available was general, and missed specific details the nacts never mentioned.

                  Now people who actually want to do something have control of the mine, the problem can be worked through by professionals. Safely.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Maybe there was never any advice in the first place and maybe it was Labour trying to score political points off a tragedy

                    As you say maybe

                    • McFlock

                      One thing there’s absolutely no maybes about: you don’t give a fuck. Not one little bit.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Whatever I may, or may not, give a fuck about doesn’t change what Labour said in opposition and what Labour are now saying in power

                    • McFlock

                      And the things they say are not contradictory, no matter how much a carrion-eater wants to spin it.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Is it comfortable dancing on the head of a pin this early?

                    • McFlock

                      There’s only one point to the political game you’re playing.

                      But everyone reading those comments knows that Labour has consistently intended to gain entry to that mine. In good faith.

                    • tracey

                      Mcflock

                      Ah good faith. Now you have moved beyond the mental capacity of those who kept voting for the Nats.

                    • Macro

                      @ P R
                      Maybe you could do some honest research for a change – it’s not difficult and google is your friend:

                      The families of miners who died at Pike River on the South Island’s West Coast are holding a protest outside Parliament today and will present a new report which says it is safe to re-enter the mine. It has been closed since a gas explosion killed 29 miners in November 2010.

                      The new plan, which was developed and peer-reviewed by overseas mining experts, also proposes transferring all responsibility and liability for the mine to a Government entity.

                      my bold
                      13 Dec 2016
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11765949

                    • Maybe there was never any advice in the first place…

                      Considering that the advice that Labour had is the advice that they got from the miner’s families I suspect you’ll have difficulty peddling that lie even to other RWNJs.

                • Baba Yaga

                  Yes. And it’s odd that Andrew Little has admitted in an interview with Duncan Garner that he is still reading Government reports on Pike. It just seems so obvious they over egged this. And it was really all so unnecessary.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    It’s time for your reality check.

                    The mother of a miner who died at Pike River hopes a Supreme Court ruling will spell the end of “chequebook justice”.

                    The court on Thursday ruled a $3.4m deal that allowed mine boss Peter Whittall to escape charges was an unlawful bargain.

                    Which (I hope) turns the sunlight where it belongs: onto those that proposed the bargain, and the reasons they did so, not Whittall.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.1.1.3

              Nope, still not backing off from it. They’ve had advice and now they’re doing a detailed study.

              It’s fairly normal business practice for anyone who has a brain.

    • JC 10.3

      See 6.1, and have a listen James. There may actually be practicalities to work through !

      Something National ignored, and have done there damnedest these last 6 years to obfuscate and cover up!

  11. Reality 11

    Andrew Little has ethics, integrity, humanity and decency. He will work through this evolving and difficult issue with very capable and honest intent, just as he has the other issues he has dealt with since becoming a minister.

  12. peterh 12

    All this crap from Hoskings. Leighten Smith.James Baba Yaga
    They know it all, there is only one group we should listen to. are the labour party doing as promised. ask the families who lost their members. and the rest of the fools who are going off on this shut up. and see what happens

    • tracey 12.1

      I think the families would be the first to squeal if they sniffed they were being played.

      • In Vino 12.1.1

        Well said Tracey. When the families start complaining is when these RWNJs should start their cacophonous chirping. They are currently trying a Dawn Chorus at 11pm. Unconvincing.

      • rhinocrates 12.1.2

        Considering that the Nats have been trying to do it for years and failed to fool them, certainly.

  13. patricia bremner 13

    I will take note of the families. And I will follow Frank Macskasy as he always backs his opinions with facts and references. The trolls can piss off under their bloody bridge.

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