QC describes Pike River mine as a ‘homicide scene’

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, November 22nd, 2016 - 51 comments
Categories: disaster, families, health and safety - Tags: , , ,

On Checkpoint Nigel Hampton QC (representing some of the families) described the Pike River mine as a ‘crime scene’ and a ‘homicide scene’, and he questioned the motives of those rushing to seal the mine.

John Key promised the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine:

This is a promise that he now denies.

Former New Zealand chief mines inspector Tony Forster says that the mine is safe to enter. Harold Gibbens, former mines rescue team member interviewed on Checkpoint, says that the drift is safe to enter, there are rescue members willing to go, and he challenges the government to release the advice that they claim to have to the contrary.

51 comments on “QC describes Pike River mine as a ‘homicide scene’”

  1. Ad 1

    I’m just guessing Nigel Hampton QC is not a Director of the company who will under the new health and safety legislation be held criminally liable if another person is sent into the mine and is hurt or killed.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1

      You say that in the face of an article saying that it’s safe to have a look around. Read it again

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Tell you what, operate a live tunnel mine under the new H&S regs and tell me your skin doesn’t tighten. I know exactly what that’s like, and there is no damn way I would allow anyone into that mine now. Ever.

        It was in no small part because of Pike River that the entire H&S legislation changed that altered this direct line of personal liability.

        • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.1.1

          I understand your concern, those go in your log book when assessing underground work sites for hazards before preparing the work area. Sprinkle some shot Crete in your coffe while you’re at it

      • You say that in the face of an article saying that it’s safe to have a look around.

        One pictures Clump_AKA_Sam attempting to persuade the court he shouldn’t be held criminally liable for the injury/death of a rescue worker because he read an article that said it was safe to go in and look around…

        • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.2.1

          Courts don’t take out legal action against a shift boss if a life is lost under his super vision, the family does. If you or pollies want to interfere, upto u

          • McFlock 1.1.2.1.1

            no, it is valid – directors are now criminally liable (and good job too).

            But to have that level of fear paralysis means that no trucking company would allow its drivers on the road, and no port company would allow its wharfs to be used for the loading or docking of ships.

            What solid energy should be doing is either publicly releasing the reports which say it’s impossible to safely re-enter, or an estimate of the costs of a reasonably safe re-entry with risk assessments from all involved, including worksafe.

            • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Liability dosnt effect the risk profile. I’m going back to sleep now. Wake me when you’ve all jacked off to the point you’ve got your point across

              • McFlock

                It doesn’t affect the profile, but it does affect the risk aversion of company directors.

                Would you prefer your bottle first, or a nappy change when you wake up?

              • SpaceMonkey

                Not the risk profile, but absolutely the risk itself.

                That considered, I am certain there would be any number of experienced miners and support personnel from around the world who would be prepared to take that risk to undertake a mine re-entry operation to retrieve a fellow miner’s body – especially when that re-entry has been considered safe by an international expert.

                Why can all concerned not just sign something appropriately legal to absolve the company of any liability?

      • aerobubble 1.1.3

        Imagine, a new seventeen year old, glued to the phone activity, enters a gassy mine with a depleted mines inspection ministry and a cult of economic hands off, coupled to a imperative to return foreign investors money after rounds of headaches.

        Key will never let anyone in that mine, he will use the issue to make it harder to justify entry, and lockup the mine for eternity, because any outcome otherwise is a bad one for all involved.

    • Tim 1.2

      On that logic we shouldn’t send rescue teams into earthquake disaster zones too

      • Muttonbird 1.2.1

        Good observation. Ad believes a couple of ships and an appearance by Waitakere Man is a good response to a 7.8 so no wonder he’s too scared to go into the mine.

  2. Venezia 2

    I watched the Doco ” Pike River ” on Prime last night. The whole episode is just disgusting. And this latest claim from the Government and Solid Energy is more of the same. I stand with the Pike River Families.

    • Wensleydale 2.1

      Read Rebecca MacFie’s book if you haven’t already. Once I’d finished it, I just sat there, stunned. The litany of incompetence, negligence and callousness beggars belief. I’ve given it to my sister for some of her friends in the Australian mining industry to read. From what she tells me, they’re generally livid after reading it.

  3. Whispering Kate 3

    I was named a conspiracy theorist by someone on this blog site for calling the Pike River Mine a crime scene – it seems I am in illustrious company. A QC no less.

  4. Rae 4

    Of course it is a homicide site, it always has been and must never be permanently sealed off because of that. Seal it off and I think we can all assume it is a dirty great cover up.

    • SpaceMonkey 4.1

      Agreed… especially when it’s in the face of expert opinion, and without offering any evidence to support a ‘no re-entry’ stand. I expect an experienced mine inspector would be able to tell exactly what happened once inside the mine…

  5. save nz 5

    They need to do the decent thing, stop stalling and go in their and find out what happened to those men!!

    Where were they on safety when they let those men die in the first place?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Where were they on safety when they let those men die in the first place?

      The same place that they’ve always been – complaining about the costs of improving working conditions.

  6. greywarshark 6

    The government say it is dangerous to enter the mine, particularly for them.
    They just want to cover it all up and forget about it as a failed project, where they wouldn’t have chosen to work. Really it is a situation of caveat emptor to them. The miners knew the risks they think, the money they were paid meant they accepted them, and when the mine caved in on them, it was just the end of the vicious circle.

    And then they produced or encouraged such tight safety rules that small business can hardly cope in NZ, with the demands that are so stringent. It makes it very hard to be profitable in such an oppressive business climate as we have here for micro businesses, which I understand means the vast majority of business activity that provides employment and feeds into the general business money flow. Very large businesses are at another level that hopefully results in trickle down to smaller feeder fish clustering around the much larger one up the food chain.

    But changing the laws was always on the cards and the delays we noticed on attending to the Pike River unfinished business, were caused no doubt by the need to stall long enough so that protective legal barriers could be erected to reduce any financial cost or injurious legal case against business with which government was connected, or against the body of government itself.

  7. Grantoc 7

    Solid Energy has released a statement that includes the information that the atmosphere inside drift along with the rest of the mine, is comprised of 98% methane gas. If this is the case, then it has to be extremely risky to enter the mine, if not suicidal.

    This scenario is supported indirectly by last night’s documentary on Pike River where the mine was constantly being described as ‘gassy’ meaning that methane will naturally build up within it.

    Is there any evidence out there that challenges the above scenario? If so I haven’t read it or seen it. For instance on what basis does Tony Forster, former chief mines inspector say that the mine is safe to enter?

    • McFlock 7.1

      Nah. The gas is only an explosive limit of 4.4–17%. No explosive risk at 98%, vent it out to below 4% and you’re fine (external fan so no risk of spark from the motor as concentration passes below the explosive range.). It’s also apparently nontoxic (according to wikipedia).

      Basically, if they could dig the mine safely they can dig back into it. If the explosions were unavaoidable they should never have had a permit in the first place. If the explosions were avoidable, we should go back in (this time safely) and find out what happened and whether the cause was a systemic danger throughout all NZ’s mines.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 7.2

      A few thoughts
      Open circuit 21% o2 of which +/-80% is wasted(Volume).Limited to 60 minutes
      Closed circuit 100% o2 100% reusable.4hr rating

      Two scenario’s

      1.Entry team A enters an unknown environment with open circuit,heart rate has increased,breahing rate has increased,Co2 increased.Increase CO2 due to breathing 21% o2, his ability to perform is negatively effected due to co2 build up and higher work rate.

      2. Entry team B enter an unkown enviroment wih closed circuit,heart rate has increased,breathing rate has increased,co2 increase. He is breathing 100
      % the co2 build up would not be as great as the unit has scrubber/Sodalime to extract the co2.His ability to perform would mirror his training.

      Why breath close circuit?

      1. Easier Breathing- High volume less resistance
      2. Faster deployment -Scrubber and cooling system.
      3.Greater safety and comfort -Light weight

      my view is that open circuit should not be allowed. it old technology

      I think scott facemask is comming out with comms

      my 2cents….. thanks for the reply

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3

      With CH4 levels at 98% there is no chance of explosions. You’d enter with breathing apparatus.

      Or, as McFlock says, vent it to below 4%.

      Or, flood the mine then pump out the water and enter one area at a time.

      It’s eminently do-able, unless you;re a can’t-do National Party with a crime scene to consider.

    • mauī 7.4

      Families spokesperson says recent gas testing show its safe to enter, doesn’t say what the gas level is though:
      http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/86201726/pike-river-father-bernie-monk-says-mine-is-safe-for-reentry

      • Approx 95% which means the environment is inert , the probability of Methane explosions are at their most dangerous levels when at 9% – 9.5% and have an ignition source and of course, oxygen.

        Some background helpful information. There is plenty on the subject online.

        Also bear in mind that many contraband items in mines have the capacity to ignite an explosion , – this is why such items as battery powered wrist watches are prohibited. That’s how sensitive it can be if a mine reaches critical conditions.

        ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

        There are two main types of coal mine explosions: methane explosions and coal dust explosions.

        Methane explosions occur in mines when a buildup of methane gas, a byproduct of coal, comes into contact with a heat source, and there is not enough air to dilute the gas to levels below its explosion point, said Yi Luo, an associate professor of mining engineering at West Virginia University.

        “In most U.S. coal mines, each ton of coal contains between 100 to 600 cubic feet (2.83 to 17 cubic meters) of methane,” Luo told Life’s Little Mysteries. “When air contains 5 percent to 15 percent of methane, it can explode.”

        Deadly mix

        Methane, the main component of natural gas, is combustible, and mixtures of about 5 percent to 15 percent in air are explosive. When air contains approximately 9.5 percent of methane (the most dangerous concentration), it reaches the perfect oxidation point, which means that the right amount of fuel is mixing with the right amount of oxygen, said Luo. This produces water, carbon dioxide and a lot of amount of heat.

        “It does not [require] much heat to ignite the combustion process and therefore methane explosion can accelerate very fast,” Luo said.

        The heat generated by this process raises the temperature of the air within the mine, which causes it to expand in volume. Since hot air cannot expand easily underground, pressure builds in the mine. If this pressure is high enough, it can cause the air ahead of the combustion zone to compress and cause a shock wave, Luo explained.

        Ventilation is the most common method to avoid such methane explosions in coal mines. Large fans are used to blow air out or draw air into mines, but Luo stated that mine ventilation is still a complicated science.

        “In coal mines, we are required to control the concentration [of methane to] less than 1 percent,” he said. “But there are hard places to ventilate where concentration could get into the explosive range.”

        Mine explosions can also be triggered when fine particles of coal dust come into contact with a source of heat.

        While methane is easier to ignite, the explosion pressure and heat value of methane is not as high as coal dust. In most cases, dust explosions are first caused by methane explosions, said Luo.

        “Dust explosion needs a very high concentration of dust suspended in the air, which is very hard to find in a mine environment,” Luo explained.

        But, the shock wave caused by methane explosions can blow up coal dust within the mine, and the heat generated by the methane reaction can ignite the dust, which greatly intensifies the energy of the explosion.

        Worst case

        So, in a worst case scenario, a methane explosion has the potential to ignite a more catastrophic coal dust explosion.

        Coal mines in the United States have taken safety measures to avoid dust explosions, including spreading limestone powder over the coal dust. Limestone powder makes it more difficult for shock waves from methane explosions to blow up particles of coal dust, said Luo.

        “Limestone also absorbs a great amount of heat generated from the [methane] explosion,” Luo said. “It will either stop the chain reaction or reduce the intensity of the explosion.”

        The Massey Energy Co. explosion this week is the worst mining disaster in the United States in more than two decades, and this latest catastrophe adds to a long history of coal mine tragedies in an industry that is notoriously risky and dangerous.

        Since 1839, there have been 501 known U.S. coal mine explosions that killed at least five people each, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, at least 52 coal mine fires have killed at least five people each. The worst of these disasters was an explosion that killed 362 people in a coal mine in Monongah, W.Va in 1907.

        An explosion similar to this week’s occurred at Sago Mine in Buckhannon, W.Va in 2006 that killed 12 miners.

  8. tc 8

    Pike river is an albatross around shonkys neck and he knows it.

    Isnt it great to have a compliant onside media not holding you to account and a police force that invades privacy to achieve political results.

    No wonder he smirks so much, easy gig this PM lark just bugger off when it all gets too much and make someone else smudge their image.

  9. MAUI

    Just a few more clips,… one demonstrating that it is a ‘ crime’ scene that needs proper forensics applied, the other the first time – and testimony – of placing a temporary seal in the mine.

    Here is the first , in an interview and audio with events leading directly up to the blast.

    here is the sealing operation

  10. The Russel Smith interview

  11. The audio above would suggest that with all the breakdowns in safety standards and equipment – and with the methane detectors automatically tripping at the head that the initial cause was methane pouring out of a seam where the men were drilling on the west side of the mine.

    It has been suggested that the methane extraction fan system transported that large volume of methane down to the pit bottom south area where the ventilation pumps, electrical motors , lighting etc were housed , – exacerbating an already volatile situation . And thus the ignition source. Which stands to reason when Daniel Rockhouse states he witnessed a ‘ flash of white light ‘ from that area.

    The ignition source could have been one of many – from an electrical motor arcing , to sparks generated by metal machinery in the mining process. All of this is covered in the Royal Commission.

    Some theory’s were that the source of methane was the ‘ goaf ‘ … an area previously mined that naturally became an area of high methane concentrations. Following a rock fall, it was said this could have dispersed methane into the road header areas and throughout the mine. , – but it does seem likely it had something to do with operations on the day when the above audio is seen.

    The following explosions as we have seen were probably the result of hot coal seam /coal dust explosions – particularly the last ( 4th ) one.

  12. Red Hand 12

    Key did not promise the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine. He said he was “committed to getting them out” and that “he wanted to get them out”. I doubt he had the advice he needed to make a firm promise.
    My take on his agreeing to the meeting and saying what he said was to give some comfort to the families so they would stop agitating and also to look good in the election campaign.
    I see this as sad evidence that he did not find the courage to say to the grieving people that the bodies would likely remain where they were and to grieve with them and to say that it was not in his power to recover the men’s bodies, however committed he may have felt and however much he may have wanted to.

    • It is the Drift the family’s and their representatives wish to remain open . Not the mine. And as demonstrated in the above audio when the first temporary seal was installed, conditions were perfectly safe. And in fact in that manner and by using more advanced methods , the Drift can be reentered. This is what has been said by many mining experts. And at a relatively small cost .

      Which counters the narrative spoken by Key.

      The problem for Key and his entourage with vested interests is the likelihood of not only discovering bodies in / near the Drift but also the likelihood that the cause of the blast ( further indications of poor safety standards in all probability ) is discovered , – and worse still for Key – that entry into the mine proper can then be achieved.

      It is at THAT point …. that the problems really start for Key and those concerned.

      And in an upcoming election year?

      Would not bode well for Key and the National party one jot.

      I think you will find, – and as stated so many times by the miners family’s , – that this is the REAL MOTIVE behind Key and Worksafe’s bloody-minded rush to get that mine sealed off permanently.

      • Rae 12.1.1

        Well they are doing nothing to convince you otherwise. Speaking totally to their converted, hoping there is enough of them. I just hope NZ is better than, I despair that we may not be.

  13. Jeremy Carroll 13

    Sounds like there’s rush on to seal the tomb. Despite this not being a requirement from “Worksafe NZ” … lawyer Nigel Hampton QC advised yesterday that Solid Energy had until February to complete the second, outer seal.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11752896

    • Yes, … there is a rush on , spearheaded by Solid Energy in collusion with Worksafe NZ.

      ” When he ( Whitall ) was finally charged with 29 counts of manslaughter, – WORKSAFE – did a secret deal with his insurance company the night before Court, allowing him to buy his way out of these severe criminal charges for $100k per head. He was immediately allowed to leave the country a free man. ”

      ‘ Worksafe ‘….

      A play on the words to ‘ Work Safe ‘ …

      Remember that name …. Worksafe.

      Remember that name when after February 2017 this current Govt tries to talk about ‘ tax cuts’ as an election sweetener….remember that name every time the issue of cost comes up about a recovery plan for Pike River.. Remember that name when things are lied about in future with Kaikoura and all the justifications of incompetence start , remember that name every time another death occurs onsite at the workplace, … and when that final seal goes into Pike River, – the best thing that one can do is to remember – just who and what depts were responsible for one of the most grotesque abdications of moral and ethical duty of care to the working people of New Zealand in decades.

      And the government who directed them.

  14. wellfedweta 14

    “John Key promised the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine.”

    No, he didn’t. His exact words were that he was ‘committed to getting the boys out’. That is quite different.

    The other factor here is the material just released on Andrew Little’s duplicity on this. When Little headed the EPMU, the union did nothing about safety concerns at Pike River. Indeed Little defended the company after the first explosion, as did Damien O’Connor. Even after one group of workers walked off the site in protest at safety issues, the EPMU did nothing. No strike, no protests. Nothing. And now we have the sick sight of Little wringing his hands at the decision to not recover the bodies.

    I, too, stand by the men of Pike River. I want every last practical effort made to recover the men. But the hypocrisy of Little in this is a festering sore that will surely bite him as more material comes to light.

    • In actual fact , one of the workers did contact the Union about conditions, and was advised by the Union to walk off the job until safety issues had been addressed , – which they did ( they were then met by management and basically dressed down for it ) .

      Furthermore, – Pike River management barred union access to the site if a delegate attempted to come on site – which was their perfect legal right to do so due to legislation passed by this National government.

      Remember?

      So now under the current political climate of neo liberalism we see the lethal end result of Nationals successful attempts at passing legislation prior to Pike River designed to detooth the Trade Unions. And because of that fact , Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption. If anything – this is the price we pay for allowing this sort of political climate in the first place.

      The very fact that there was an attempt at tightening Health and Safety laws after the fact of Pike River is in itself nothing more than an admonition that the deliberate disempowering of Unions and empowering of management to threaten employees with job loss for non compliance using legal tools passed by this government had resulted in the deaths of 29 workers.

      • wellfedweta 14.1.1

        None of that stacks up.

        Brent Forrester, the worker who blew the whistle on the walk out, claimed they received NO support form the EPMU. In fact Little’s response was that PRC “had a good health and safety committee that’s been very active.”

        There’s more on this whole sordid business at https://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2014/12/how-andrew-little-failed-pike-river.html, including plenty more on Little’s, and the EPMU’s culpability.

        “Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption.”
        They always have had to. Nothing has changed that. But there were many warnings, and the EPMU did NOTHING.

        • WILD KATIPO 14.1.1.1

          “Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption.”

          Exactly.

          And I dont retract that . Under the neo liberal model and their talk of ‘partnership’ Pike River is the end product . It is a fact that this neo liberal government – not Andrew Little , for as youve shown was president of the EPMU at the time – was the incumbent government that passed laws that meant an employer could prohibit a Union delegate from even entering a private concerns property.

          And that meant that if management chose to not even meet with Union representatives concerning workers issues they could. Effectively killing co ordinated collective action from the very start.

          Pike River was the inevitable end product of this.

          And if Little was complicit in supporting management initially , bear in mind that up until that point the Union was only party to information that management had selected and was prepared to offer , – as one can easily see management contacting Union head offices after the first walk out occurred . Can you really expect management to send themselves up in a bad light?

          Of course not.

          And it took a Royal Commission of Inquiry to fully bring out all the facts. A legal initiative that had the clout to compel concerned partys to disclose in full just what conditions were really like.

          Up until then , it was more a case of ‘ He said – She said’.

          It may – just may – have been the case that the Unions were misled by management that all is well… as Whittall stated in an interview ” I can sincerely put my hand on my heart and say that safety was our first concern at Pike River ”… or words to that effect.

          But none of this detracts at all from the culture of worker abuse that has grown up out of the all – too – convenient ‘ partnership ‘ model of vested interest and lobby groups that have manipulated ( and provided healthy donations to ) successive neo liberal governments over the last 3 decades. And that is my point. Im neither a National or a Labour party voter. I dont give a damn about either – I care about the direction this countrys gone in over the last 3 decades of this neo liberal garbage. And that is all.

          So to end,… from the same website…

          { ‘ A fighting union movement

          Health and safety is a union issue, and it’s going to take us re-building a fighting union movement for work in New Zealand to become safer. It’s no accident that this is now ranked one of the most dangerous countries for workers in the developed world – as the union movement has grown weaker, following the Employment Contracts Act, so too has bosses’ ability to cut corners grown.
          Imagine if workers had the confidence to stop work every time there was an infringement or known risk? What if there were stoppages by all the workers on a site each time one person was injured or hurt? This used to be common practice in some industries, and it hurt the bosses where they notice, in lost ‘productivity’ and profits. That does far more for safety than any number of hours talking about partnership.
          The Engineering, Printing, and Manufacturing Union is calling for the “the re-introduction of worker-elected check inspectors” in mining. This is essential; health and safety needs to be in the hands of those with an interest in promoting it – working people whose health and safety is put at risk – and not controlled by our bosses and managers, who have an interest in maximising the amount of work they can get out of us. ‘ }

          BTW … good website… a lot of good material there so thanks.

          • wellfedweta 14.1.1.1.1

            Little was not just “complicit in supporting management initially”. He was complicit in drowning out the concerns of workers on site, and of covering up (or at best ignoring) safety concerns expressed from various quarters.

            You also seem to be on something of a hobby horse about the connection between neo-liberalism and health and health and safety. That is a dead horse, I’m afraid. Here is a list of historic mine disasters in NZ. Tell me which ones are the result of neo-liberalism.

            Kaitangata, February 1879: Candles cause explosion in an area known for methane (firedamp) killed 34 men and boys.

            Brunner, March 1896: Incorrect blasting set off a gas explosion – probably methane – killing 65 men.

            Huntly, Ralph’s mine, September 1914: A miner’s naked light ignited firedamp, killing 43 men.

            Dobson mine, December 1926: An explosion killed nine men.

            Huntly, Glen Afton mine, September 1939: Carbon monoxide asphyxiated 11 men.

            Strongman mine, 11km northeast of Greymouth, January 1967: explosion killed 19 miners.

  15. dv 15

    Some one has honour

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11753588

    Allied Concrete will not participate in sealing of Pike River mine

    Allied Concrete, the company contracted to supply concrete to permanently plug the Pike River mine has pulled out.

    Allied is owned by HWR, and chief executive Brent Esler said today they had been asked to quote for the supply of concrete by a contractor engaged by Solid Energy.

    HWR had “the deepest sympathy for the families of the 29 miners whose lives were lost in the disaster in 2010”.

    “We are respectful of their feelings around the sealing of the mine. We also understand the situation faced by Solid Energy who are now trying to prevent further risk of injury or fatalities.”

    The company was mindful that Solid Energy was not the mine operator at the time of the 2010 disaster but took over in 2012.

    “At this time Allied Concrete have not committed to supply concrete material for the final stages of the project,” Allied said. “We will assess any decision to supply product as it arises.”

    The company said it hoped an understanding could be reached between the parties and that some finality was achieved for everyone, “after this tragic event”.

    Pike River families are welcoming the company’s decision decision not to supply the concrete required to seal the mine.

    Allied has contacted Sonya Rockhouse, whose son Ben was killed in the mine, to assure her they will halt supply until the dispute over re-entering the mine is resolved.

    “We are incredibly relieved by this decision,” Sonya said.

  16. JustMe 16

    There is one thing I have noticed about John Key and that is he is totally incapable of keeping any promises made to ordinary New Zealanders. The families of the Pike River 29 are just ordinary NZers. Like the 29 miners entombed in the mine the families are also victims.

    The government’s constant delaying tactics regarding the Pike River Mine is starting to get really suspect. What are they hiding besides a huge level of incompetence?

    A truly proper government and PM would keep a promise made. But once Prince William had headed off back to the UK and the election results of 2011 were confirmed John Key quickly forgot his ‘promise’ to the citizens of Greymouth(which I believe is a strong Labour seat). Maybe Key made that ‘promise’ in the hope of taking Greymouth away from Labour. And because the citizens saw through him he became petty and resentful. If so then how typically juvenille of him.

    I am firmly of the opinion that if one of the Pike River 29 was say the son of a National MP then Key would be literally moving heaven and earth to ‘get the boys out’.

    The usefulness of the families of the Pike River 29 ended within 24 hours of the 2011 election results. The ‘boys’ were political tools to be manipulated by an opportunistic and self-serving PM.

    In this day and age with technology having even advanced quite considerbly since 2010 I suggest that if Key and his mates are reluctant to let in experienced miners to go into the mine then send in a drone to check it out.

    I am sure John Key had hoped the families of the Pike River 29 would shut up and put up with his decision and broken promise. Key depends upon apathetic NZers and he probably didn’t expect so many NZers to find his inaction to be more likely an act of cowardice.

    If we had a Labour government I am sure the boys would be out of that tomb by now and given a decent burial.

    RIP Pike River 29 but please ensure Key never forgets you. May he be haunted by your faces for the rest of his days.

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    Police Minister Stuart Nash has introduced legislation changing firearms laws to improve public safety following the Christchurch terror attacks. “Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack will be banned,” Mr Nash says. “Owning a gun is a privilege not ...
    3 weeks ago