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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    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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