Pike River; Victory For the Families, Victory for Us

Written By: - Date published: 8:13 am, November 14th, 2018 - 121 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, capitalism, disaster, Economy, health and safety, john key, Mining, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The Minister responsible for  Pike River, Andrew Little, has announced that there will be a manned re-entry to the mine early next year.

This is a very welcome step and is the culmination of an 8 year battle to get truth and justice for the 29 dead miners.

It’s fitting that it is Andrew Little who has the final say; as the former head of the miners union, the EPMU (now E Tu), Little stood with the bereaved from day one. Unlike former Prime Minister John Key, who lied to the families about re-entry, fought to have union members’ voices shut out of the memorial service, and whose natural instinct was to side with the owners, Little has been a battler for the battlers.

Alongside the late Helen Kelly, Andrew Little has been with the families from the start.

But even with this victory today, the fight for worker safety goes on. As Anna Osborne made it clear this morning, on average we kill a kiwi worker every week. That’s 400 workplace deaths since Pike River.

The legislation has changed, the culture has not.

So, lets celebrate this win for the little guy, and remember the 29, but the struggle goes on.

 

121 comments on “Pike River; Victory For the Families, Victory for Us ”

  1. Ad 1

    Top work Minister.

    Will make for a better Monday anniversary than they’ve had for a while.

    Some parts of the safety culture have changed, but totally get your point on the deaths.

  2. Chris T 2

    Whilst I personally see little value coming from going into the remaining 400 meters of the outer drift, I hope that the families of those miners that died find some sort of closer in the decision to do it, and that I end up being proven wrong.

  3. Antoine 3

    If this is victory it feels pretty hollow

    Just hope no one gets hurt in the reentry process

    A.

    • Nick 3.1

      Antoine, imagine losing your child in an accident. Then having to fight the bullshit of the natz government.

      • Antoine 3.1.1

        (I was going to reply but I have nothing of value to add)

      • Steve Wrathall 3.1.2

        Some of the families who lost loved ones do not support this decision. That $38 M (assuming it doesn’t balloon) could be spent in so many other says to benefit the living or save lives.

        • Cinny 3.1.2.1

          But Steve, if the prior government had done the right thing in the first place, it would have cost much much much less.

          • Antoine 3.1.2.1.1

            It is what it is, it’s committed now, the money is effectively gone, let’s hope some good comes of it and no harm.

            A.

            • Cinny 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Amen to that Antoine.

              • In Vino

                No, I am calling Ant out. He makes these transparently over-earnest prayers that nobody will be harmed, etc, but he is actually preparing the ground for future recriminations if anyone should be harmed. I think Antoine a right-wing hypocrite, who comes here to delude. I don’t believe him. I believe he is now secretly hoping that his concern trolling will pay off. Of course, he will express horror at the very thought..

                • Antoine

                  I’m not that bad. I am kinda happy to see Shane Jones’ pork barrel projects fail embarrassingly so I can laugh at him. But I don’t want the ceiling to collapse on the rescue team or something, just to score political points. That would be awful.

                  I would rather they had not decided to go into the mine, I see it much as you probably see Key’s flag referendum, a $30m waste with really no enduring benefits. But here we are.

                  A.

        • Muttonbird 3.1.2.2

          Steve, what are the numbers among the families for and against re-entry?

        • ianmac 3.1.2.3

          Just 3 of the families do not support entry.

        • McFlock 3.1.2.4

          Personally, sparing no expense to find evidence will probably make some negligent employers a little more concerned about workplace safety. That will save lives.

          • KJT 3.1.2.4.1

            So far, all that work place safety legislation has achieved, is to drown workers in micro managed paperwork does and don’ts, so that management cannot be held responsible.

            “Safety” is the new growth industry, just like HR. Chair polishers with degrees, who have never worn a hard hat, making work for themselves. While safety concerns from the operations staff are ignored, as usual.

            An obsession with hard hats, reams of impossible to follow instructions (which overworked staff have no time to read) and aspirational safety signs, cheap “seen to be doing something” fixes rather than addressing under-manning, commercial pressure and counter safety, ‘performance measurements”. (Like the bonus for Ports of Auckland straddle carrier drivers, who carted the most boxes, in a month).

            • McFlock 3.1.2.4.1.1

              I think that’s beginning to change. There was a period where you could just hire a consultant to do the paperwork, say “they’re the experts”, tell everyone to follow unworkable procedures, and the company was largely absolved if something happened.

              Making senior managers personally liable was a good thing that made them more invested in outcomes. But there was also recent a case with a University where someone sued and got substantial damages for being the x-th person to slip and break a bone on a particularly dangerous set of tiles. Funny thing, straight after that non-slip paint and hand rails were being plastered all around town.

              The issues you outline still remain, but with my large employer the easiest way to get something done is to call it a safety issue. It’s not all bumf.

              • KJT

                In my industry, for those in my present position, it has always been “strict liability” under international and local law.

                I.E. If an accident happens while you are in charge, you have to prove it wasn’t your fault, or extenuating circumstances applied.

                It is the opposite for Managers/bosses ashore!

                My present company is rather good, on safety. Though the volume of paperwork could still be improved.
                Not the norm in the industry, however. Without the professionalism and effort, of often low paid, exploited and overworked staff, internationally, there would be a lot more serious accidents.

    • Cinny 3.2

      Closure is needed, this will bring that a step closer and also answers to the many many questions surrounding it all.

      Police have suggested manslaughter charges could go a head if warranted.

      Accountability will also bring closure.

      • Antoine 3.2.1

        Hey look, if we can jail someone out of all this, then perhaps it could be worthwhile, for the deterrent effect looking forwards.

        I suspect however that the Police (when asked) ‘were unable to rule out that a prosecution could come from this, while not thinking it particularly likely’

        But what do I know

        A.

        • Jum 3.2.1.1

          Yeah Antoine, what do you actually know? I think a few people do know what happened 8 years ago and are keeping quiet about it and want it kept quiet.

    • reason 3.3

      Nz does not do ‘victory’ for workers ………. they are cheap to kill.

      “The owner of West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch coal mine where 29 men died in an explosion last year has agreed to a nearly $210 million settlement that will compensate the victims’ families, pay fines and fund upgrades in safety standards at its facilities, NPR’s Howard Berkes reports from Charleston, W. Va.

      That package includes about $46 million for the miners’ families.”

      https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/12/06/143191383/coal-company-reportedly-set-to-pay-200-million-in-w-va-disaster

  4. Sanctuary 4

    For all those right wing trolls who ask why this is being done, it is being done because 29 men paid with their lives for slack regulations, slack over-sight and slack management, all aided and abetted by the government(s) of the day who connived with management of these companies to allow unsafe practices.

    The least – the very least – the state can do to atone for it’s lethal errors is to return the bodies of these men to their families.

    This is about justice and doing the right thing.

    • gsays 4.1

      To be fair to those right wingers, they don’t have any experience of integrity occurring in the wake of corporate manslaughter.
      It is new ground for all of us.

  5. Good news. Will be a great day if the families can be reunited.

  6. Cinny 6

    Families have fought so very hard, they were fobbed off and lied to by the previous government. A new government that cares about people has made a massive difference, if it weren’t for the new government those families would still be fighting,

    This is justice for them, much respect for never giving up and kudos to Andrew Little.

    Meanwhile on the AM show this morning mark richardson had a big moan about it, he’s angry about people blaming national for not allowing re-entry to the mine. Calm down mark, it’s about the families, it always has been, families that mark richardsons preferred national government neglected.

    • Jimmy 6.1

      Don’t get too worked up about Mark…..I don’t believe many people actually take him seriously anyway.
      Can only hope that this entry brings some sort of closure for the families.

    • Bg 6.2

      They (who ever they are) are going into the drift, not the mine. No police, no ESR so who is going to gather the evidence?

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        Just to clarify your question, you don’t know who will go into the mine but you do know that no police or ESR will be involved, so you want to know who will collect evidence?

        How do you know the middle bit?

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Aww. I was just about to reply to a comment by BM but he appears to have got cold feet and deleted it.

    Seems to be a few RWNJs now treading carefully around this topic. Better late than never.

    • BM 7.1

      I was replying to Cinnys comment but she deleted it, so I deleted mine.

      • Muttonbird 7.1.1

        Yours looked like a comment on the OP to me and it wasn’t indented.

        You said it wasn’t a win because they are ‘only going into the drift’ not the mine so no bodies will be found.

        The you deleted it, wisely.

        • xanthe 7.1.1.1

          well I also strongly think that ‘only going into the drift’ is a cop out, If they really want “answers” (and or bodies) they will need to enter the mine itself.
          I actually would not be surprised to find that thats what they do in the end.

          • Antoine 7.1.1.1.1

            It’s too dangerous and not rewarding enough IMO, I don’t think they will do it

            A.

          • Muttonbird 7.1.1.1.2

            Perhaps. I suspect they are taking it in stages. Get in there, find out what is possible, and make any further decisions down the track.

            You have to understand BM’s viewpoint though, which is to do nothing because it’s too hard, no-one cares, and because doing something shows up Key and National as being gutless.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah.

              They know there are large voids in the actual mine, and that you can get a fair way down the drift before the rockfall. If it’s a localised fall, they might be able to get through it safely, but tunnelling any great length in a heat-damaged area might be a hazard too great.

      • Cinny 7.1.2

        Didn’t delete as such, just moved it above as a reply to Antoine, I put it in the wrong box.

        It’s at 3.2

  8. Fireblade 8

    Don’t forget Winston Peters helped the families stop the National Party bastards filling the entrance with concrete.

    John Key is a two faced lying cunt. Words are cheap John, action takes character and guts.

    • Cinny 8.1

      And the locals who also helped stop the concrete 🙂 Yes praise for Winston too.

      BTW, Cunts are useful.

      Meanwhile will the dirty pony tail puller who did a runner be approached for comment?

    • Muttonbird 8.2

      Yep. Andrew Little has shown Key what guts is. Ironic when you recall pony-boy’s rant in parliament.

      • Cinny 8.2.1

        Gosh yes key and english would get so angry when questioned in parliament about it. Mouth frothing anger was on show for all to see.

      • Bg 8.2.2

        Perhaps Little’s guilty conscience is too much for him to bare

        • Muttonbird 8.2.2.1

          Oh right. The, ‘it’s all Andrew Little’s fault because he was head of the union’, meme.

          That has been done before by several hundred RWNJs. You are just the latest ignoramus.

          Also, it’s a massive call from you for union access to workplaces to be enshrined in law at any site, whenever they see fit, at any time, unannounced. See how that goes down with your mates in the office.

          By the way, ‘too much to bear’ is the correct spelling. But as I have said you are a worthless RW idiot so no surprise there.

    • Fireblade 8.3

      National Party Lies
      November 2016

  9. adam 9

    Good.

    The games the last Tory government played with this were bloody disgusting, and should never be forgotten. The chief ponytail puller in particular spent a hell of lot of time talking from both sides of his mouth.

    And secondly we should not forget 400+ people have died from just going to work since. The dominant ideology does not give a rats about you or your family – it only cares to enrich the rich. We keep paying in bloody for them to line their pockets.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    Personally speaking I just want the people going back into the mine to be safe first and then the politicking can come afterwards

    • mauī 10.1

      There’s always a first time for the right wing to show some compassion and care for workers I assume this is it when there is culpability on the line.

      (Edit – I think PR is a compassionate man, but your argument certainly is not).

      • I feel love 10.1.1

        lol maui, also they suddenly care about kids when teachers strike or housing shortage when its to kick Labour or free for all immigration all of a sudden. Do you think they can see their own shallowness? Do they really think they are kidding anybody? “I just want the people going into the mine to be safe” well duh, that’s what this is about, workers safety, that shouldn’t be political, but the right wing make it so (safety costs money, needs to be regulated (why does it need regulation? Think about that), things the right wing abhor).

        • Puckish Rogue 10.1.1.1

          Sorry to break it to you but we arn’t actually a hive mind, in tnat we can and o have differences of opinions

          Kind of like saying all left wing voters think and act the same

      • Puckish Rogue 10.1.2

        Well take it for what its worth but I hope the workers get in and out safely, that everyone gets the closure they want including the families that didn’t want the mine re-opened and whatever questions people want answered are answered

      • Ed 10.1.3

        Mark Richardson was saying exactly the same as pr.
        We’ll just ignore the politicking by Key and cronies over 7 years.
        Tory scum.

        This whole crime and its cover up reminds me of Hillsborough.

        • te reo putake 10.1.3.1

          That’s a pretty apt comparison, Ed. As in Hillsborough, there were early attempts to blame the dead. At Pike River, it was claimed that workers covered up gas level readers so that they could keep extracting coal in order to make a bonus. While that may have happened, it was merely a detail in the wider problem of a poorly constructed, over budget and unprofitable mine.

    • ankerawshark 10.2

      Pr Watched part of the announcement this morning and Andrew Little was very clear safety would be paramount……….and the widows there were nodding in agreement.

      Good on Winnie, good on Andrew and good to see the women acknowledge Helen Kelly’s work on this………………………

      Its heartbreaking to see the young mans picture on this post.

      • mauī 10.2.1

        Yeah that front page photo by itself does all the necessary explaining on why they must go back in and find answers and find closure.

  11. SaveNZ 11

    It’s a bitter victory. But at least hopefully some answers.

  12. Philj 12

    And the Guardian reports, ” …. Bodies of 29 dead will be recovered….”
    https://criticalpolitics.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c73e3fe9e4a0d897f8fa2746e&id=d249b38400&e=5992ed99a1
    And they have the gall to ask for financial support to support ‘quality’ journalism.

  13. Brutus Iscariot 13

    Waste of time and money, and a risk to human life.

    • adam 13.1

      Yeah it was, hopefully this will prove how much of a waste it was – especially to the families of the young men who never had a chance.

      • Muttonbird 13.1.1

        Those who were concerned about safety were pressured to stay silent.

        This sum pales in comparison to the 1.4 Billion Bingles paid out to his farmer mates in the dead of the night and still the mean bastards of the RW would begrudge the families of closure, and they’d ignore the opportunity to make sure this kind of negligence didn’t happen again.

        Farrer hasn’t hissed his disapproval of this yet but just yesterday he was complaining about the cost of the state abuse enquiry as if studying what went wrong there has absolutely no value whatsoever in healing and in prevention.

        Farrar and co would rather continue to brush this and child abuse further under the carpet. He and his followers are utter scumbags.

  14. Jum 14

    Once they open that mine, they need a trusted 24/7 guard on it, until the people actually enter. I don’t trust anybody, including the suddenly interested police.

    I want answers as to why it happened and 29 people did not return to their lives.

  15. Jum 15

    In fact, put a guard on it now. It’s an isolated area.

  16. Matthew Whitehead 16

    Andrew Little continues to be the standout Labour minister in this government. It’s not unqualified good news, (whether there will be professional investigators going in will make a huge difference to the prospect of holding anyone criminally liable if fault is identified, for instance, and police haven’t committed to be part of the re-entry yet) but it’s good that there’ll be a chance at closure for the families devastated by this disaster.

    And I can’t fucking believe how many people are splitting hairs about what this will cost. Some things you do regardless of the bill.

    • Fireblade 16.1

      Yes Matthew, some things you do regardless of the bill.

      Like Nationals $21.8 million flag referendum.

      When Key retired he said his biggest regret was not changing the NZ flag. John Key is an asshole.

    • It shouldn’t be ‘up to the Police to commit to it or not ‘.

      They take orders from the govt that represents the population and if told they are ‘going’ to commit they should damn well get off their arse and do as their told.

      They ARE NOT a private Police force and they will do exactly as they are directed. What they and their heads think about that is none of their concern.

      • Ad 16.2.1

        Police give effect to the law not the government.

        • WILD KATIPO 16.2.1.1

          When it is pertaining to the public interest and the magnitude of multiple workplace deaths they do as they are told.

          Would you expect them to not investigate a homicide scene, do nothing about the Aramoana incident simply because they were deciding ‘whether to commit or not ? ‘…

          They serve us the people and the govt we elect to represent us, as such they are nothing more than a public service that is to be directed if needs be to ‘ commit’ to a certain course of action , – whether they like it or not.

          • Antoine 16.2.1.1.1

            Ad has it right and you are wrong. The police do not ‘do as they told’. Bad things lie down that route.

            A.

            • WeTheBleeple 16.2.1.1.1.1

              Fuck off you know nothing. My brother died in a coal mine accident age four. I was in charge aged seven. The police tried to pin me with murder to avoid upgrading safety in the factory.

              Fact; they tried to destroy my life to save them money. Fact: they did all manner of illegal things including lie to my parents that I didn’t need supervision, put me in a cell and said I wasn’t ever getting out, told me they had signed confessions of others that I’d pushed him, told me what the adults would do to little boys when I went to jail, and more.

              You wanna wake up and smell the coffee you are fucking deluded.

              • Antoine

                Name the mine, or I would settle for the country and decade where this occurred?

                A.

                • WeTheBleeple

                  NZ, 1970’s. And fuck you.

                  • Antoine

                    Sorry to be offensive but I believe this incident never happened. Happy to be convinced otherwise – in which case I will obviously apologise profusely.

                    A.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Unless you are a lawyer willing to fight for my cause you can fuck off and you can shove your naive childish opinions too.

                      Way to help those with PTSD from state ‘care’.

                      Now fuck off.

                    • Cinny

                      Antoine, just because you don’t believe something happened, doesn’t mean it didn’t.

                      WeTheBleeple, same thing happened to my grandma and her brothers and sisters. Their mum died when the kids were young, no more school for the kids, off to work in the mine, their father was a freaking arsehole. Some of the kids ended up running away, Grandma was rescued by a couple up the road. Some of the kids ended up in foster care.

                      Due to Grandmas experiences, her and Grandpop ended up taking in many foster kids over their life time.

                      Takaka 1920’s.

                      It’s deeply troubling and saddening to learn that this type of thing was still going on in the 70’s in NZ.

              • Nice one, Bleeple! Reminds me of one of Peter Cook’s ‘Why Bother’ series, where, as Sir Arthur Streeb Greebling, he reminisces about his time in prison as a four year old.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08sPtK9JKIE

                And, of course, Cookie was a miner, having passed the none too rigorous entrance exam:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grg5tULy0tY

                The latter does make me wonder whether Peter Whittall got his job the same way, with the same qualifications.

                • WeTheBleeple

                  I’ve watched Police beating the shit out of anti-apartheid protestors, what was that if not obeying the Govt of the day. I’ve seen them beat down on all manner of protesters over the years. What about Kim Dotcom, was that not political?

                  I’ve better to do than write this list. It could go on and on.

                  People are well delusional.

            • gsays 16.2.1.1.1.2

              “The police do not ‘do as they told’.”

              You are wrong, Antoine.

              • Antoine

                Give me an example of a case where core Government gave the Police a direction on whether they should, or should not, investigate a matter?

                A.

                • gsays

                  I am not going to be able to give you an answer that will satisfy you.
                  That is because of them needing to seem to be separate from each other.
                  There are cases were despite evidence to the contrary, a politically expedient conclusion has come from police enquiries.

                  I would start with pike river.
                  Add adolescent/teen pack rapists in Auckland (I refuse to use the name they call themselves).
                  Crewe murders enquiry.

                  • Antoine

                    To be honest, I do not know the facts of any of those cases.

                    I will note that you can get a politically expedient conclusion without any actual collusion.

                    A.

    • gsays 16.3

      Not wanting to derail but I have a concern with Minister Little and his desire to hand over even more power to the states spies.
      The spooks and cops stuffed up @Te Urewera, and are using that as an excuse for more power.
      When the spies wanted more power over the citizenry, back in the last regimes turn, I wanted to hear opposition to it from Labour.
      It didn’t happen and I seem to recall Little endorsing the idea back then.

      Who does he represent in this case?

  17. patricia bremner 17

    Exactly. What has money got to do with it??
    Not enough was spent on Safety.
    So to begrudge it now is really mealy mouthed.

  18. If its good enough for the Americans to have the balls to not only make a fuss and get justice done , it good enough for New Zealanders.

    I find it hypocritical to say the least that so many of these far right wing trolls extol American economics and worship apple pie, the land of the free etc, – but when it gets down to it , – are full of crap.

    They only want all the dollars without the responsibility. Typical greedy sanctimonious pricks.

    Well , – heres how it SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE RIGHT FROM THE START.

    Furthermore- those culpable need to be dragged back before our courts if criminal negligence is found. And that includes Whittal and possibly even Key and others for allowing inadequate Union mines inspectors .

    Remember WORM FARMS after the fact?

    That’s the ChinNational party for you.

    The Law Works Special – The Upper Big Branch Coal Mine Investigation
    https://youtu.be/GSE8hucqEz8

  19. Cinny 19

    Have any of the nat MP’s commented about the Pike Re-entry today?

    I’ve looked and looked but it seems the silence is deafening. Not even a whisper from west coast local and simons favourite MP, maureen pugh.

  20. Ed 20

    Some history on Pike River.

    John Key

    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.

    • Ed 20.1

      2016.

      The families of the Pike River victims are pleading with Mr Key to stop the planned sealing of the mine before he hands over power.

      In a joint statement the families of the 29 men who died in the 2010 disaster say Mr Key can ‘either do the right thing or forever be the prime minister who turned his back’.

      John Key was the Prime Minister who ‘turned his back.’

      • Ed 20.1.1

        2016

        Peter Whittall.
        Did he buy himself out of justice?

        • Ed 20.1.1.1

          When did John Key resign?
          and why did he resign?

        • WILD KATIPO 20.1.1.2

          Are those women still raw? – of course they are.

          Not only did they and others lose their loved ones ( including sons – one at 16 years of age ) , as events unfolded it was evident that skulduggery was afoot. And to make it worse?

          Massive efforts were made using NGO’s and govt depts to cover up negligence in workplace Heath and Safety . And that’s corruption.

          I had a 11 year old son who died not of the leukemia he had , – but of gross incompetence at Waikato hospital. He died from Pneumocystis Carinii . A totally preventable form of pneumonia that the apes at Waikato hospital continually fobbed off as ‘asthma’ a ‘viral cold’ – until it got so bad I damn well demanded he was taken that night to Starship. Six weeks later he was dead.

          That was 2005 and I’m still pissed off and upset about it. As is my surviving son.

          Why???

          Because of the lies , incompetence and bullshit that was handed out to me and mine.

          Magnify that 29 times and you can see what I’m saying.

          The only reason the Key govt fobbed those women off was because they damn well knew there is criminal negligence – and corruption of justice with regards Whittal and the Insurance pay outs.

          It is good Little has the balls and so does his govt.

          But then after that,… comes justice once all forensics have been carried out.

    • Yes, and the late Penny Bright did an extensive article based on ‘Murder at Pike River’
      which clearly traces back to not only foreign multi nationals – and the individuals involved – but also guess who .

      Mr ‘ Get some guts ‘.

      It appears he had some vested interests in the mine as well.

      • Ed 20.2.1

        Rebecca MacFie wrote an excellent book on the subject.

        Book Excerpt: Tragedy at Pike River Mine

        Pike River Coal was charged with nine offences under the Act. The failed company – still under the control of the receivers – did not put in an appearance at the Greymouth Court hearing, and did not present any evidence in defence or mitigation. Judge Jane Farish ruled against it in a decision that recorded “an accumulation of errors and omissions which transpired over a number of years”. She found “a systematic failure of the company to implement and audit its own (inadequate) safety plans and procedures”.

        When the judge came to impose sentence on the company, she sat at the bench struggling to control her tears. She had heard the statements of families still locked in despair more than two and a half years after the disaster. Anna Osborne spoke of her depression and inability to move on until the remains of her husband Milton were recovered. Willie Joynson’s widow Kim told of the suffering and ill-health of her children following their father’s death. Sam Mackie’s mother Beth described the horror of losing her only child. Kath Monk spoke of the pain at being robbed of her son Michael, and her disgust that no one from Pike River Coal had ever come to her and apologised for his death.

        Judge Farish described the Pike disaster as “the health and safety event of this generation . . . a worse case is hard to imagine.” But the futility of her task was palpable. The company she was about to punish had long since gone broke. The money gathered from the sale of the mine and a small stockpile of Pike coal, and from an $80 million insurance payout, had been distributed to creditors. There was only enough left in the pot to pay each family $5,000. She nevertheless ordered $3.41 million in reparation – $110,000 to each of the victims’ families and to Daniel Rockhouse and Russell Smith. She also imposed a fine of $760,000 on the company for its multiple breaches of the law.

        The company had demonstrated a total lack of remorse. “It is not often a company steps back and holds its hands up and says, ‘I have nothing.’ Even a company in a fragile state usually comes forward and offers reparation, but here nothing has been forthcoming.”

        I highly recommend you read the whole book.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/9407313/Book-Excerpt-Tragedy-at-Pike-River-Mine

  21. Ed 21

    If you have time……

    Colin Smith, Chairman on the Pike River Families Group Committee and the Pike River 29 Legacy Trust, talks about the Pike River disaster and asks ‘how could this happen in this day and age’?
    I urge you to watch every minute of it..

    Why haven’t these managers and the company been held accountable?

    • Ed 21.1

      The repeal of the Coal Mines Act in 1993 was the first step leading to the disaster. The Coal Mines Act was a piece of legislation that had been developed over 100 years.

      Neoliberalism kills.

      When are New Zealanders going to wake up?

  22. Jum 22

    ‘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.’

    — New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, speaking to Pike River Coal family members in Greymouth, just before the 2011 general election.’

    And there you have the quality of the nats. It’s all about the end game and people are just collateral damage.

  23. Ed 23

    Peter Whitall and John Key need to be brought to justice over this.

    • mosa 23.1

      People like Key can buy justice so i wouldn’t hold my breath.
      Those who are complaining about the cost of re-entry must also be upset at the 1.7 billion dollars paid to bail out South Canterbury Finance.
      Bill English never hesitated on making that decision.

  24. Brutus Iscariot 24

    “I think the slain care little if they sleep or rise again” – Aeschylus

    Never understood how re-entry became such a left wing cause celebre.

    Looking at the option Little has chosen, they are only re-entering the mine drift. Further access deeper into the mine is blocked by a 30-50 metre rock fall, where most (if not all) the miners remains will be (if they’re even identifiable). The implication is that for all the hoo-ha, they’ll probably only recover a couple of bodies at most and learn nothing. The public will be disappointed, but i guess the important thing is that Little gets to show his solidarity with the working man.

    • gsays 24.1

      Is your last sentence sarcastic BI?

      I am picking it is because of your reference to a hoo ha.

      If you are genuine in your questions read a few of Eds links.

      Perhaps you should scuttle off to another site as you seem to lack a bigger picture view of what occurs to these 29 workers.

      .

  25. WeTheBleeple 25

    Nice. A play on a biblical name and surprise surprise, a dirtbag who has an opinion on the corpses opinions…

    But the families, nah, fuck em.

    Safety, not included, not important.

    Political points, yes, that must be it.

    Not everyone is a money oriented sack of shit.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Crown and iwi settle three decades of negotiations
    Three decades of negotiations between iwi and the Crown have been settled today as the Whakatōhea Claims Settlement Bill passes its third reading in Parliament, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “While no settlement can fully compensate for the Crown’s past injustices, this settlement will support the aspirations and prosperity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support PNG landslide response
    New Zealand will support Papua New Guinea’s response to the devastating landslide in Enga Province, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have announced.   “Ever since learning of the horrendous landslide on Friday, New Zealand has been determined to play our part in assisting Papua New Guinea’s ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Government to consult on regulation of shooting clubs and ranges
      The Government is consulting New Zealanders on a package of proposals for simple and effective regulation of shooting clubs and ranges, Associate Minister of Justice, Nicole McKee announced today.   “Clubs and ranges are not only important for people learning to operate firearms safely, to practice, and to compete, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
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    3 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
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    5 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
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    5 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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