web analytics

Pike River facts laid out

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, February 26th, 2017 - 10 comments
Categories: accountability, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

An excellent piece by Pike River mum, Sonya Rockhouse, in today’s Sunday Star-Times. The full article is here, but here are some of the most important points:

Four months ago, we’d pretty much lost hope of ever getting justice for what happened to our boys at Pike River. The Government was going to permanently seal the mine, and we’d lost our case for a judicial review of (Former Pike River Coal chief executive) Peter Whittall’s dirty deal with Worksafe. It looked like the man in charge when 29 husbands, sons and fathers died would walk away scot-free – and any evidence telling us what happened on that awful day in 2010 would be sealed away forever with the bodies of our loved ones.

Anna Osborne and I decided we’d give it one last shot. We wanted our boys to know we’d done our best to get justice for them. We towed a caravan up to the Pike River Mine road, a desolate, raw place surrounded by thick, primitive, bush.

 

What we wanted was simple then, and it’s simple now. Don’t seal the mine until the drift – the 2.3km entrance tunnel leading to the mine – is explored.

This is one of the main points family have been making. Looking at the Government’s repeated use of the word “mine” it’s hard not to draw the conclusion Nick Smith et al are deliberately muddying the waters to stop re-entry.

At the select committee just a week and a half ago, Solid Energy was forced to admit there may be bodies in the drift. There may even be a drift runner – a transport vehicle used by men who were changing shift when the first explosion happened.

If this is the case there are serious questions to ask about the police stopping mines rescue going in immediately after the first explosion.

This isn’t some pipe-dream of grieving families, and we’re sick of people talking down to us like it is. We’ve known since 2011 the main workings of the mine are too dangerous to explore. But the drift can be made safe to re-enter.

Dave Creedy, vice chair of the UN group of coal mine methane, has worked with Bob Stevenson, another renowned international expert, on a plan to do it. Tony Forster, the former Chief Inspector of Mines, and Robyn Hughes, Solid Energy’s own expert and former manager of the Pike River recovery, say it can be done. Another half-dozen international mining and mines rescue experts agree with them.

We want justice. We’ve gone way beyond what we should have to prove it can be achieved. The Prime Minister’s offer of further remote exploration of the drift is welcome, but drones can’t recover bodies, and after six years of stalling we won’t let the Government kick for touch again. That’s why our experts are working on a timeline to get it done as soon as possible. And that’s why we want an independent, transparent review of the plan to get into the drift. It’s not hard. Just get our experts and Solid Energy’s experts around the table and work it out.

This is an option the Government should have taken right at the start. That they are still refusing an independent review beggars belief.

 

10 comments on “Pike River facts laid out ”

  1. xanthe 1

    why accept that the mine is too dangerous to enter?

    it could be done , just need to put an appropriate effort into it.

  2. mosa 2

    There is too much to cover up and conceal at Pike.
    There will be NO re entry.
    Key and now English want the families to go away and be quiet and fade away out of sight.
    That is the typical corporate response.

    • Sacha 2.1

      Mainly Joyce. He folded DoL into MBIE and that’s where most of the govt accountability would roost.

  3. J'Accuse 3

    It is an excellent opportunity for Andrew Little to differentiate himself from this tired and compromised government through an independent investigation, wherever way the chips fly.

    If this governments’ approach to Pike River applied to road, rail, marine, and air crashes it would face a revolt from the travelling public as well as friends, relatives, and family of those injured and deceased.

    Is this governments approach to Pike River a lever to weaken occupational safety practice in other areas ?

    Even if that is not the intent, others may use it as a precedent.

    • Sacha 3.1

      I expect to see Little front a firm policy announcement on this about 2 weeks before the election, mustering all his trade union background to back these families.

  4. peterlepaysan 4

    National are unlikey to care very much about electorates that do not vote National.

    Had it been a Southland mine Double Dipton would hve bee throwing money at it.

  5. Henry Filth 5

    Its a scandal that you can have a mine blow up, kill the miners, and then make no effort to investigate the cause.

    In fact spend a lot of time, effort, and money preventing that investigation.

    Something stinks.

    • tc 5.1

      Like the stench coming from SCF its a pretty safe bet the odour leads to a giant turd with key/joyce/blinglush/findlaysons prints all over it.

  6. JC 6

    Kia Kaha Sonya and Anna, et al!

    Stand with Pike!

    https://www.facebook.com/StandWithPike/

  7. saveNZ 7

    Good luck for justice.

    One of the worst disasters and the government and their agencies seem reluctant to ask any questions or do any investigations.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago