John Key won’t be on the West Coast today when the Pike River report will be released. He’ll have a tightly managed press conference at the Beehive, instead. Key promised that he would stand by the Pike River families. He promised that all efforts would be put in to get the bodies out, no matter the cost. It was all hollow talk from a hollow man. And I expect his response to the report will be hollow too.
The families are calling for a charge of corporate manslaughter to be created. When businesses and bosses kill their employees or others, they ought to face real punishment. Now, they hide behind corporate cover. Peter Whittall (the man who the press lauded as a hero immediately after the disaster) has some minor charges against him. The people who owned and ran Pike River have paid no cost for the deaths of their employees (they’ve lost money because the mine is useless – but that’s different). Key, naturally, hasn’t bothered to get advice. So, we can see what chance there is that the bosses’ party will make bosses more accountable.