The Pike River tragedy is an ongoing source of grief to the families and the community. While public attention has moved on, their struggle to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones continues. There are many around the country who have not forgotten them.
Key made a big promise to the families of Pike River, and then tried to deny it (there was plenty of coverage and accusations of reneging at the time). Despite publicly calling the recovery of the bodies an “absolute priority”, Key tried to play weasel word semantics with the nature of the promise that he had made:
He denied promising family members that the victims’ remains would be recovered. “I never promised anyone we would get the bodies out,” he said. “We promised family members that we would do everything we could to get the bodies out. We have done everything that we believe we possibly can.”
So did Key promise family members that the bodies would be recovered? Thanks to previously unseen video footage shown by 3 News on Monday, now we can hear for ourselves (2:10 min):
The first thing is I’m here to give you absolute reassurance, we’re committed to getting the boys out, and nothing’s going to change that. So – when people try and tell you we’re not, they’re playing, I hate to say it, but they’re playing with your emotions.
Absolute reassurance, committed to getting the boys out. When Key said “I never promised anyone we would get the bodies out”, he lied. Now that Key’s faulty account has been corrected by the video evidence it’s time for him to put up or shut up. He owes it more than ever to the Pike River families to do the right thing. Key made the promise – he should honour it.