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Pike River – what did the government know and when did they know it?

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, May 1st, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: accountability, disaster, Mining, national - Tags: , , ,

Bill English claims to have been unaware of the video footage, but the night before Nick Smith’s spokesperson said the government had been “advised”. It would have been extraordinary if they had not.

Bill English claims he did not know about Pike River robot footage

“I just want to go back to this first question. I asked you when you first knew about it. So, yes, you saw it for the first time last night, but have you known earlier that this footage existed?” Duncan Garner asked.

“Well, no,” Mr English replied.

Acting Minister of Conservation for Pike River Issues Nick Smith told Newshub on Sunday he hadn’t seen the footage either.

“No one from the Government has viewed this footage, though the Government has been advised it was used by Solid Energy as part of its extensive investigation into whether the mine was safe to enter,” Mr Smith’s spokesperson said.

Pike River families deserve the truth.

Mark Sainsbury: The Pike River video is a game changer
Accusations of cover-up swirl as footage shows men accompanying robot in Pike River Mine
Video: Inside the Pike River mine – what police never showed the families

34 comments on “Pike River – what did the government know and when did they know it?”

  1. dv 1

    Nick Smith KNEW the video existed BUT has not seen it.

    Or ASKED to see it.!!!!!

    Why not?

    • Molly 1.1

      So he can justifiably say “All the evidence I have seen, indicates that re-entry is not possible”.

      They no longer even pretend to be effective, “technical ignorance” seems to be the high bar for Ministers in this government.

    • SpaceMonkey 1.2

      It’s called plausible deniability… though in this case I find it highly implausible.

      John Key used it very effectively. Seems to me this is what John Key’s legacy is… that this sort of practice is now standard operating procedure under this National Government to avoid any accountability for anything. It’s cynical, insulting (to the People) and it stinks. They have no mana.

      • dv 1.2.1

        Now the police are saying They didn’t deliberately withhold the video
        Police have rejected suggestions that they deliberately withheld footage from the families of Pike River miners.

  2. keepcalmcarryon 2

    Regardless if the video proves outright safety or not, this was information the families needed to know for themselves.
    At a minimum surely the government would want to have seen the actual footage and passed it along even if only to give the families the most up to date information.

    Either:
    1)Government really didnt care about the families at all
    2)There is gross incompetence in communication between Solid Energy, The Police and Government
    3) There was a deliberate concealment of evidence

    or 4) a mixture of the above.

    None of which reflect well on the government.

  3. michelle 3

    If they (govt) didn’t see this video why didn’t they and when one tells so many lies it hard to know what to believe

  4. Wonderful to see members of the media speaking out. Mark Sainsbury being one. And he did it with boldness.

    • tc 4.1

      Easy now hes no longer in the tvnz trough after they dumped him for mikey the hoskins.

      These jonolists are shiffing the breeze and sensing change so they’re all of a sudden asking the tough questions that could and shouldve been asked years ago.

      • WILD KATIPO 4.1.1

        Doggone it !

        Trust you to burst my bubble…. but thank you anyways as you are quite right.

      • michelle 4.1.2

        tc they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them John took them on overseas trips and made friends with them look at partick gower he is now one of the main a…. kissers and is not only bias but sickening.

    • mary_a 4.2

      Absolutely WK (4) And I have to say Garner and Gower also did a pretty good job too with their interviews of members of Pike River families. Not that I like either of them.

      Msm beginning to see the light perhaps and report the facts for a change?

  5. weka 5

    The Bart Simpson Defence, handed on from FJK, “I didn’t do it” (I can’t remember, it wasn’t me etc). When in doubt, pretend and deny.

    In the end it doesn’t matter because National shifted the political culture in the past 9 years so far that it’s normal to lie, and there is now no way to trust them. It’s all self-interest, and zero fucks given about the families or worker safety or the country in general when that is up against their political survival and drive for power and control.

    It’s also possible, just, that they didn’t know and they’re just fucking incompetent. Either way, I hope they get a thrashed on this one and that it’s another solid nail in the coffin of the demise.

    You have no honour Bill English, and you are squarely in the same ethical and moral wasteland as John Key. Well done, your legacy is now set in stone.

    • ”You have no honour Bill English, and you are squarely in the same ethical and moral wasteland as John Key. Well done, your legacy is now set in stone.”

      Epitaph.

      And yet when their viral malady starts to effect our legal processes and law enforcement , and pervert that as well ,….

      Then that is time to start to view their odious influence and vigorously oppose their treachery to ensure they are thrown from office . The National party must be gotten rid of to address so many weeping sores of their creation , and , among other things, to bring justice and closure to the family’s of the victims of Pike River mine.

  6. Wyndham 6

    The fact that Nick Smith is involved bodes ill for anyone searching for the truth. It would be difficult to find anyone better versed in the arts of obfuscation and downright lying than Smith.

    • Clearly Nick Smith knows this will be his last stint in parliament.

      Then Guyon Espiner will interview him in soft hued backgrounds so he can explain how he felt he always did the right thing and that clearly he was misunderstood and harangued by a vindictive media.

    • Peter 6.2

      ( find anyone better versed in the arts of obfuscation and downright lying than Smith.)

      I think you are mistaken there he’s just a stupid idiot.

    • NZJester 6.3

      It would be difficult to find anyone better versed in the arts of obfuscation and downright lying than Smith.

      Well, there was his Ex-leader that I think was way better at it than he ever will be.

      • lprent 6.3.1

        “Less obvious to the general public” would probably be the best way of describing his ability to lie.

  7. ianmac 7

    If we were able to question the two men in the clip, they would be able to confirm or deny the reality.
    I wonder who they were? Policemen? Miners? Would they be allowed to speak?

  8. Whispering Kate 8

    Methinks that John Key sniffed the breeze, saw shit coming down like the rain – Panama Papers still being drip fed through, the Eminem copyright stoush now in the High Court, Pike River disaster coverup and Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s latest revelations still to go to trial by the Afghani citizens – too many bullets to try and dodge and he isn’t known for having much staying power when the shit hits the fan. I don’t think we have heard the last about the man who a lot of folks thought was the son of God.

    • Don’t give up hope yet , – even though Key may not suit the colour orange , an orange jumpsuit would suit that Mont Pelerin Society NAZI stooge nicely .

      New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
      http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    • Duncan 8.2

      Apart from all that Obama was gone and any attempt to overturn Trump’s election in favour of Hillary had run out of steam. Mr Key’s mission was over.

    • mary_a 8.3

      @ Whispering Kate (8) …

      100% agree.

      The sleazy lying coward Key ran when he realised the going was going to get tough, leaving a trail of dirt behind him to be dealt with!

      Key English Smith et al … all corrupt rogues of the highest order. Their day is coming.

    • NZJester 8.4

      Unfortunately John Key is starting on the board of Air New Zealand in September.
      I will miss our national Airline once it gets broken up and sold off because you know that is going to happen under Keys watch.

  9. Ross 9

    This from Sainsbury caught my eye:

    The police response to the families’ request for more video is classic bureaucracy and butt-covering. They say they’re working through their Official Information Act obligations – what about their obligations to the families of those 29 men who died in that mine?

    If my interactions with police are anything to go by, police will simply ignore any request for information such is their arrogance. The police have had 6 years to provide the families with information. Such incompetence is unacceptable. If it’s not incompetence, it’s corruption. Take your pick.

    • michelle 9.1

      when are people going to realize this tory government does not care for its people its every man for himself now what happens when we have a disaster or war is it still every man for himself. This is not our way I don’t care about what other countries do this is our country and our people and we need to care for everyone

  10. Philgwellington Wellington 10

    There needs to be an proper,independent investigation into this shonky, tragic disaster. Are the powerful ever held to account?

  11. Philgwellington 11

    There needs to be an proper,independent investigation into this shonky, tragic disaster. Are the powerful ever held to account?

  12. Sacha 12

    Faithful Audrey says media have misled the public by airing the footage: “Clumsy airing of Pike River video recklessly misleading” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11848325

  13. Nick 13

    If it was Shonkey or Blinglish sons down that mine, it would have been sorted immediately….scum

  14. Cinny 14

    The outgoing PM claims that the police are right and everyone else is wrong, even though the families who lost their loved ones and author on a book about Pike say they did not see the footage.

    It’s a bit like the other month when the outgoing PM told us the defence force was right and everyone else is wrong.

    Anyone else see a pattern here?

  15. straightup 15

    The problem in my eyes is legislation. I am not a fan of more laws than are required but from my perception there needs to be an introduction of legal accountabillity that allows the police to do their job effectively but be held accountable when they are found to be misleading. Take for example the oia requests about mike bush drunk driving . It took 5 oia requests to get the information requested.

    For me anyone that has been put in a position of trust and responsibility to the public has certain obligations they are morrally required to fill. The moral fibre of this country depends upon the honesty of those we look up to and rely upon to protect the dignity of this country.

    The laws need to shift in a direction where if there is found to be any mike bushit sorry i mean bullshit then these people that have betrayed our trust should hang from the gallows as the crows circle. unfortunately only when heads roll will the people we trust conduct themselves in a manner that is acceptable

  16. On January 21st, 2017 , – in an article of The Standard entitled ‘Andrew Little: Together, we will fight for justice for Pike families ‘ ,

    I posted a comment about how John Key and Brownlee had put to the NZ public about mining in our national parks.

    It was opposed by the popular vote – and at least publicly – abandoned. What they did not tell us was that the iron sands alone was estimated by Solid Energy to be worth between 1 and 5 trillion dollars, – and that it was put forward to the National govt that the smelting of that iron sand could be provided by high quality NZ coking coal- of which Pike River was to be among those suppliers.

    However , in today’s NZ Herald , – we now have THIS :

    Forest & Bird says Government has secret mining plans for Denniston …
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11848323

    AND THIS :

    ‘Secret’ coal mining plans on the West Coast alarm Forest & Bird | Stuff …
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/92107750/Secret-coal-mining-plans-alarm-Forest-Bird

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