Today, John Key betrayed them.
Yes, the decision is technically in the hands of Solid Energy – but they’re government-owned and government-appointed; Key can direct them if he wants to. The government’s own safety experts say a recovery mission can be done safely. So why isn’t Solid Energy keen? Because it would cost money, and they clearly don’t believe they’ll ever be able to mine coal from Pike River economically. The last two years have been about them working that out, then delaying the inevitable announcement that they were planning to walk away from their responsibilities.
The government made a promise to the victims of a disaster – a disaster partly caused by its own lax regulations. It broke that promise. We all need to hold them accountable for that.