Stand With Pike: You shall not pass

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 pm, December 11th, 2016 - 86 comments
Categories: disaster, health and safety, journalism - Tags: , , ,

Patrick Gower has broken the story about the latest turn of events down at Pike River:

Newshub can exclusively reveal efforts to seal the Pike Rive mine now face a legal and physical roadblock, with the victims’ families taking legal control of a privately owned piece of road needed to access the site.

The farmer that owns the road has handed it over to Bernie Monk, who will serve trespass orders on the concrete trucks, needed to seal the mine, from Monday.

“We’ll be blockading it. If anyone passes that without our permission, we’ll be serving trespass notices on them,” Mr Monk says.

Construction is already underway.

If you’re in Wellington on Tuesday, get down to Parliament at lunchtime to #StandWithPike. Details on Facebook.

86 comments on “Stand With Pike: You shall not pass”

  1. Rosemary McDonald 1

    YES!

    This is where the revolution begins…landowner taking coin, rejects coin in favour of righteousness.

    Kia Kaha, Pike River Families.

  2. Shona 2

    Feeling proud to be a Kiwi for the first time in ages!

  3. Muttonbird 3

    They really are fighting hard – it is great to see.

    A few things on Gower’s ‘exclusive’. Other outlets are carrying it so it is not an exclusive.
    The headline is framed in favour of Solid Energy – their ‘efforts’ are being ‘blocked’ by the families.
    Gower calls this an ‘unforeseen problem’ for Bill English – only if he’s been under a rock that is.
    Gower also refers to the families’ action as creating a ‘problem’, having found a ‘loophole’. Both are negative descriptions.

    He presents this ‘exclusive’ as a just a regular political nasty for the government rather than what it actually is – a once in a generation call by these families’ for their boys’ voice to be heard.

    • Richard Christie 3.1

      No doubt about it, Gower is both a clown and a disgrace to journalism. In addition to that, he is vile – a seriously nasty piece of work.

      Thanks for the clarification but I guess we shouldn’t let this story get diverted to discussing the messenger. Hard to do when it involves Mr Gower.

  4. Johnny Tucker 4

    Interesting development.

    The papers released with the title show there is no easement over the land but that it is subject to the Public Works Act. That act specifically mentions roads, and gives any minister of the crown the ability to order removal of any obstruction that causes danger to traffic on the road.

    Don’t be surprised if this is used as justification for removal of protestors in the coming days.

    • Richard Christie 4.1

      How does a sold privatised mining company fit into a public works act?
      Seems more likely to now be a civil dispute.

  5. Truth has a way of coming out in the end.

    And sometimes things have to be done that shake the boat up. This is good. And also good the landowner has come out in favour of the Pike River victims family’s. So good the family’s just didn’t give in… 6 years is a long , long time to campaign for basic decency and justice … when they never ever should have had to in the first place.

    It raises the spirits to see the tenacity of these tough and marvelous West Coasters.

    They have a case, and could have given up at any time ,… but they didnt. As far as I see it, their issue is our issue, and we owe to them to stand and support them.

    The Upper Big Branch mine was very similar to Pike, happening 2-3 months beforehand, … and like Pike, … 31 miners involved, … and 29 killed. The same poorly maintained substandard ventilation systems, the same incompetence and negligence in rectifying health and safety issues by management, the same failure to address dangerous methane levers…

    And the same company that owned shares in Pike River owned Upper Big Branch mine as well…

    Its worth a watch just to re- familiarize yourselves with the sort of skulduggery that goes on and also went on under ex Prime Minister John Key. Lets hope Bill English can be more honorable.

  6. Venezia 6

    Wow – that video (& report) is quite an expose of the industry in 2010.
    ” Only the weaklings and the incompetents evade responsibilities in this age of industrial safety and efficiency.” Coal Age magazine 27 May 1916.

  7. Tamati Tautuhi 7

    Looks like another “Standing Rock Confrontation”?

    • Cinny 7.1

      Tamati, I was thinking the same.

      On the Listening Post this weekend (fav media roundup show on AJ) they explained why the lack of media coverage at Standing Rock. Made me think of Pike River, the lack of media coverage…

      PROUD OF THE ONES STANDING UP FOR THOSE LOST AT PIKE RIVER. MASSIVE RESPECT TO YOU ALL.

  8. adam 8

    national has 29 problems, and it has not said a dam thing close to truth on this matter for a very long time.

    • Cinny 8.1

      Adam the link above many interest you, it’s the listening posts coverage re lack of media at standing rock.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Good to see people who won’t take being told what to do by a bunch of lying suits from downtown.

  10. I think it’s time for the Pike River families that are trying to get bodies recovered should move on from a dangerous and quite possibly futile exercise.

    It would be dangerous enough just to reenter the mine. It would be a lot harder to actually locate and recover 29 bodies, given time and the explosions – and the time and logistics that would be required increase risks substantially.

    Even if some of the bodies were able to be recovered and identified that won’t stop the grief.

    I understand that some of the families feel aggrieved by the mine company and by the Government, but they would be better to move on and find more productive ways to continue their grieving.\

    [Your attempts to apply your beige, risk-averse handwringing to this situation is deplorable. You aren’t a mines rescue expert, unlike the many people who have provided support and technical advice to the families. You don’t get to tell people how to grieve. You don’t get to scold them for their response to a situation you cannot possibly fathom. Take a week’s ban for being a shitty person. – Stephanie]

    • Sanctuary 10.1

      “…I think…”

      No one gives a fuck what you think bro.

    • Cinny 10.2

      You are entitled to your opinion and the family members are entitled to theirs. They are taking action, some would prefer that it all went away, but not the Coasters, they are strong people and will fight to the end for what they believe in.

      Unlike Key they are not quitters. And most of the country is behind their actions.

      Pete you say… ” but they would be better to move on and find more productive ways to continue their grieving.”

      what on earth do you suggest would be a more productive way to continue their grieving? Unreals

    • Muttonbird 10.3

      What would be a ‘more productive’ way to continue their grieving?

      Advocating for a strengthening of workers rights? Advocating for tougher laws against employers who abuse the safety of employees? Promoting union representation on all company boards?

      Perhaps you mean the pressuring of government to reverse the decision not to charge Peter Whittall and the owners, or perhaps to charge him retrospectively under the new corporate manslaughter law?

      • Pete George 10.3.1

        Continuing to pursue things that are unlikely to happen doesn’t appear to be helping them.

        • Muttonbird 10.3.1.1

          They are making progress and the decision to re-enter is just that – a decision which change at any time.

        • michelle 10.3.1.2

          Like our pm pursued with the TPPA Pete even though it was selling our sovereignty and he pursued with our flag change( 20 million or thereabouts Pete) despite the polls saying the majority didn’t want it is that what you mean Pete

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3.1.3

          Continuing to pursue things that are unlikely to happen doesn’t appear to be helping them.

          Doesn’t appear to do a damn thing for you either, and yet here you are.

    • gsays 10.4

      Hi Pete g, that simply means you stand with the corporations and not with the families.

      Tories love money, socialists love people.

      • Pete George 10.4.1

        I don’t stand with any corporations.

        Some socialists seem to like stupid slogans.

        I think the families would be better off if they let go of mine re-entry. Not all of the families are involved in the current action. What is the ongoing publicity doing for them?

          • Muttonbird 10.4.1.1.1

            All the John Key fans wheel this one out to attack the families with.

          • Paul 10.4.1.1.2

            So all the other family members are wrong, eh, bm?

            • michelle 10.4.1.1.2.1

              its called a majority Paul the same way our tory PM got to power on a one seat majority and then they lost that seat and have to rely on Act , United and the Maori ,they have such a big majority Bull shert wake up and stop talking whole lot of kaka

        • gsays 10.4.1.2

          “I don’t stand with any corporations.”
          it is just a conincidence your opinions and attitudes align with the corporation in this case.
          you certainly don’t stand with the families, which is the context of this post.

          what i assume you are reffering to as a stupid slogan is far from that.
          it is a conclusion from many years of observing folk and politicians.
          this website is a great example.
          also while it may make you feel uncomfortable or show your opinions in a poor light, still don’t make it stupid.

          • Pete George 10.4.1.2.1

            “it is just a coincidence your opinions and attitudes align with the corporation in this case”

            I don’t know which corporation you are referring to, nor what corporation opinions and attitudes might be.

            I think my opinions probably align with quite a few people, possibly including some Pike River families, and certainly similar to others here.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.4.1.2.1.1

              🙄

              Yeah, silly me, I thought we were talking about Pike River Coal and Solid Energy, and then I realised I had the wrong corporation.

            • gsays 10.4.1.2.1.2

              re yr opinions and their alignment, at the time of writing,
              17 on side of families,
              4 neutral,
              5 backing key/national party/solid energy.
              so..5 out of 26 ain’t quite a few in anyones book.
              dodgy maths for a money lover.

            • Cinny 10.4.1.2.1.3

              Pete would you please answer my question from above…

              Pete you say… ” but they would be better to move on and find more productive ways to continue their grieving.”

              What do you suggest would be a more productive way to continue their grieving? Other than ‘moving on’ or letting things be’ what would your advice be to them on how to continue their grieving?

              • gsays

                hi cinny,
                i have found pete to be a dump and run timewaster.
                half arsed arguements that do not bear too much scrutiny
                i unfortunately engaged with him.
                from now on i will put him in the list with bm, alwyn etc.
                dnftt-do not feed the troll.

    • Rosemary McDonald 10.5

      Pete George….why don’t you sit down, take a few deep ones and then go let your fingers do the walking and do some proper research into what is going on here.

      Yes, recovery of the bodies of the 29 is the primary aim of the families.

      Also, and of equal importance, is going as far into that mine as possible to gather evidence that will help find out why there was the explosion…and, and this is very important….would it have been possible to rescue some of the 29 had the Mines Rescue crew been allowed to enter the mine during the ‘safe’ window that opened after the explosion?

      The unseemly haste at which the decision was made to never make any attempt at recovery is suspicious in itself.

      And the complete rejection by the government of the advice of experts in the mines rescue field that it is possible to at least go partway into the drift to investigate…is again suspicious.

      No…you DON”T “understand that some of the families feel aggrieved by the mine company and by the Government” or you wouldn’t be so keen to impart your advice to the grieving families that they should ‘move on’.

      PG…who the hell do you ( and your mates on your little gossip website and your mates over at Farrar’s cesspit) think you are to tell grieving mining families how to deal with their grief?

      Don’t you get it?

      They can’t ‘move on’ until they have answers.

      Because, unlike those who blindly accept what their National overlords tell them…some of us have questioning minds as well as an instinct for when we are being treated like mushrooms.

      So go back to your dark place Pete George…while we support in spirit these families seeking the light.

    • michelle 10.6

      How do you understand when you haven’t been through what these families have been through Pete George. If they recover anything at all this will help with the healing and the grieving process and that will be a good thing. Since when have NZers taken a step backwards we can do anything we put our minds to we just need to be given a chance or opportunity exactly what Gareth Morgan has been talking about.

    • Paul 10.7

      Your right wing shilling has hit new lows.

  11. Brutus Iscariot 11

    This is getting quite sad. I can understand the anger and hurt, but they just need to let go. Nothing is going to bring those people back.

    • Richard Christie 11.1

      A short trip down the mine might well bring them back.

    • garibaldi 11.2

      BI, you’re another one who just doesn’t get it. These poor families need an outcome. They have been treated with contempt , lied to and shat on. They must have proper closure and this is the least that must be done for them. No ifs or buts.

      • rsbandit 11.2.1

        Why risk live people to recover…what, exactly? That is unacceptable. How would they feel – everyone feel – if people entering the mine died doing so?

        No benefit, all risk. Move on.

        • In Vino 11.2.1.1

          Firstly, there are plenty of volunteers who know the risks and state that they are willing. Secondly, extreme caution will reduce the slim chance of disaster. When the catastrophe happened, people were doing an ordinary day’s work. This exercise would be nothing like that.

          • rsbandit 11.2.1.1.1

            Would you let your family go in? Daughter? Son? Partner? Why advocate someone elses family member goes in, even if they want to?

            All risk, no gain. Move on. This is political rather than considering lives of living people and I find it utterly distasteful. I support the government on this one.

            • In Vino 11.2.1.1.1.1

              The families are living people, in case you failed to notice. Try listening to them – in telling them to ‘Move on’ you achieve the height of ignorance and arrogance.

              • rsbandit

                Fair call. I apologise for saying “move on”. But I plead with all those demanding people go in not to risk any more lives.

  12. Carolyn_nth 12

    Such fine words from John key at the memorial service for the 29 miners. So Churchillian – banking political capital by tapping into the (MSM led at the time) sentiments.

    He also managed to make it all about JK:

    PM’s Pike River address

    And I’d like to say something personal to the families of the lost miners, and in particular to those mothers of children who have so cruelly lost their fathers.

    Amongst all your other emotions and pain there may be fear for your children growing up without the father who loved them.

    Because I was such a child, I know that the absence of a parent is a heaviness you learn to carry in your own way.

    It is a terrible thing to happen. But it doesn’t mean your children will not go on to live happy, worthwhile and fulfilling lives and, in time, experience joyfulness and love in new families, yet to be created.

    And even if those children’s memories of their fathers fade, his legacy will live on in each one of them.

    Any sudden death in a close-knit community like this would be hard felt. To have 29 deaths in a single, terrible incident is almost beyond imagining.

    What makes it even harder is that you have not had the opportunity to lay your men to rest in a place and manner of your choosing.

    I do not know whether some or all of your men are in their final resting place.
    […]

    I am proud to lead a country whose people care so much about each other.

    The miners’ families have told me that although their personal grief is immeasurable, they have deeply appreciated the expressions of support from all over the country, and from overseas.

    In the streets of Greymouth, and all along the Coast, the intensity of this loss has weighed heavily on every heart.

    But the human spirit is resilient, and people are by nature, hopeful.

    I hope the knowledge of the nation’s support helps you through.

    Your men were our men. And even if many of us know them only as names, and faces and stories, their deaths touched our lives, and we will remember them.

    May they rest in peace.

    JK stored up a lot of politcal capital by free-riding on the (MSM-led) national sentiments. Such sentiments so easily get lost when the next disaster happens.

    Then, with promises unfulfilled, and the government no longer standing in solidarity with the Pike River families, JK pisses off to his life of luxury, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful.

    • gsays 12.1

      hi carolyn,
      i also remember hearing key say, in a meeting with the families, “absolute ressurance”, “commitment” etc, he then went on to say that anyone doubting this resolve was playing politics using emotions.

      disgusting.

  13. michelle 13

    People exhume bodies all the time it can be common for Maori to exhume even after many many years some take their loved ones home to their whanau lands so they can rest in peace it depends on what you stand for and believe in. Many NZers accept the staus quo too much and believe everything they hear from our political masters. I say wise up NZers listen to the good people of this country not the government or half wit journalist like Gower before it is too late to save our country from big corporations raiding happening under the gnats.

  14. Whispering Kate 14

    The landowner to me is the hero of he moment, us lefties generally think all landowners, cow cockies of whatever you want to call them are National admirers with limited critical thinking abilities. One only had to see on Q & A yesterday the opinions of the Wairarapa farming electorate over what they want for the future of this country – more of National’s policies.

    So all hail to the landowner who obviously does not agree with the cynical attitude of this Government over Pike River. Labour is cheap and so is life for this government, money is the mana from the gods to them and for which they adulate over.

  15. mary_a 15

    Yes absolutely …

    #STAND WITH PIKE

  16. Wayne 16

    This has been turned into a Left/Right issue on this site (as noted by Pete George).

    But it shouldn’t be. And in my view is not.

    The public issue of re-entering the mine is one of safety. That has to be the primary concern of public officials.

    At the moment the families say their expert advisors say it is safe to enter. Solid Energy’s experts say it is not.

    Perhaps an independent panel of expert mine safety engineers could assess these two positions (actually assess the evidence presented) and then make their recommendation.

    In the nature of things the independent panel would one expert appointed by each party (but not their existing experts) and a chair appointed by these two.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      The Prime Minister politicised it when he turned it into an “ethics and the rule of law”/”getting away with manslaughter” issue. FIFY.

    • dv 16.2

      Yes Wayne. Good idea that they talk to each other!!!!

    • gsays 16.3

      hi wayne,
      perhaps the solid energy/national party ‘experts’ could be named.
      you know, to shed a little light on the government’s position.

      • Whispering Kate 16.3.1

        I agree – the ex PM was noted for his “show me the money” in a debate but his Government at the time were all talk and no show when it came to revealing who their “experts” were over the safety of the mine. An independent safety inquiry needs to be done before this country will believe that the mine is unsafe to enter. The odds are strong it will be safe knowing the record of the present government and their many lies which they have spun. No wonder people are cynical, who would blame them.

      • Cinny 16.3.2

        well said G.

    • DH 16.4

      Have you any idea how ridiculous you sound Wayne?

      You’re using the word ‘safe’ in its literal form, as are the usual line up of Pike deniers. No activity is safe, there’s risk in everything humans do.

      If you were honest in your ‘opinion’ you should be saying it’s not safe enough.

      • s y d 16.4.1

        I think there is a sleight of hand where ‘safety’ has been horribly, and perhaps purposefully, confused with ‘liability’. There is now a clear linking of liability to officers of corporations and they will never, ever take on that liability and risk – the foreseeable financial costs cannot be insured against and so they won’t be able to repeat Mr Whittals’ shameful payout.

        The safety referred to is not for the workers who would re-enter the mine, but that of the directors. You need only read the final paragraphs of Solid Energy’s directors ‘open letter’ to see where their thinking is based.
        http://www.solidenergy.co.nz/

        PS – The decision not to re-enter is not being taken by ‘public officials’ Mr Mapp, but by officers of a corporation.

        • Wayne 16.4.1.1

          syd,

          From what i have read, Solid Energy made their decision on the basis of advice from mining experts. What I am suggesting is an independent review of both the families and Solid Energy’s expert advice.

          If the view is that the govt be involved, then surely they will want an independent assessment of the safety and the risks – hence my comment about the responsibility of “public officials.”

          DH,

          I am perfectly aware of the balancing issues in respect to safety. Nothing is ever 100% safe. But independent experts will be able to advise whether it is, or is not, safe enough to enter. From your response it seems you are suggesting there should not be an independent assessment?

          • DH 16.4.1.1.1

            You seem to have been misinformed on this Wayne. It’s not an issue of whether the mine is safe to enter or not, the issue is about whether the mine can be made safe to enter or not. The secondary issue would then be how much it would cost.

            You say;

            “the mine isn’t safe to enter”

            and the families have been saying;

            “It is possible to make the mine safe to enter.”

            You’re both talking about different things, both of you can be right. Personally I think your position is dishonest and distasteful.

  17. Tiger Mountain 17

    as Bernie Griffin sang–“29 diamonds for a chunk of coal…”

    all power to the families and supporters, leading by example

  18. Susie 18

    Made my day.
    Thank you also, ‘Wild Katipo’ for your customarily robust insights here. There is a lot more to this mess than meets the eye, IMHO.

  19. rsbandit 19

    It’s time for these people to move on. They want to risk the lives of others to recover…what, exactly?

    • mauī 19.1

      Does every troll have the exact same line? Serious lack of humanity too. Unless you think covering your son with 20 metres of concrete after their unexplained death is something that feels human to you.

      • rsbandit 19.1.1

        So trolling is saying “it’s not worth someone dying”?

        I find the support of this endeavour utterly repugnant. You can see from the glee in this thread that it’s about politics, not any consideration for the lives of people who would go in there.

        Would you go in?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2

      I don’t believe they want to risk anyone’s lives. Some experienced people have volunteered to risk their own lives. Is it possible for you to respect their loss enough to stop lying about them?

    • Rosemary McDonald 19.3

      Go be a shitty person elsewhere….

    • @ rsbandit ( 19 )

      No one has a right to tell others to simply ‘ move on’.

      No one.

      That is a phrase trotted out – usually – by those who are either frustrated with an issue or because it threatens their own agendas , – and because it does not affect them personally , – feel quite free to marginalize whats viewed as important by others.

      I would hardly think you would apply the same thinking to victims of the holocaust – where even today inquiry’s are still held into the perpetrators. Or any other retrospective case involving loss of life for that matter , – no matter the way or motive in which it occurred.

      The difference is with Pike is there are far too many issues that have been left unanswered, in what seems like an all – too – convenient fashion. It does not matter which political party was incumbent as well . In fact the timeline of this mine had crossover with both Labour and National. For someone to claim it didn’t hasn’t researched the issue entirely enough.

      Aside from recovery of human remains – which grants a certain amount of closure to the victims family’s , – there remains the critical issues of gathering of forensic evidence – which so far has been denied the victims family’s as well as the New Zealand public.

      It therefore becomes an issue of national importance as the manner by which this plays out has a direct bearing on any other future disasters – and the trustworthiness of any future governments dealings with the public. Therefore we now see at least two good solid reasons why it is a trite cop out , … and counter productive to trot out that tired old catch phrase to simply ‘ move on’.

      And both of them have direct and indirect implications as to the quality of present and future public and private officials and their accountability to the wider public in basic issues of honesty , integrity ,safety , and the value and sanctity of human life.

      • rsbandit 19.4.1

        I wonder how vocal people will be if someone else dies in that mine. Worth it? Is this political attack really worth it?

        I say it isn’t. Nothing will bring them back. Some families will never accept it but that is no reason to risk more lives.

        “Go be a shitty person elsewhere….”

        No, you go be a shitty person elsewhere. You’re very brave from outside that mine and it is very shitty to risk other people’s lives recovering…what exactly?

        Utterly disgraceful.

        • WILD KATIPO 19.4.1.1

          And you – who has obviously sided with this govts stance, – and by association , Solid Energy’s – are the one politicizing it. And then using emotionalism by claiming more people would die . And that’s disgusting.

          The facts are , that there are experts – many of them – that say not only is the drift safe to enter under controlled methods , but have presented many reports containing the methods to be used.

          And the fact that Solid Energy’s stance of belligerence in not even listening to these experts – and the point blank refusal to meet with them and a govt that only listened to Solid Energy – and was prepared to use our own police force to back up Solid Energy – as time went on,… has now backfired monumentally in their face. And the longer this drags on , and the longer any govt refuses to deal with the issues will only make it harder on any incumbent govt.

          And make them appear bloody minded and as if they have something to hide.

          Lets hope this govt under Bill English has far more wisdom and integrity than it did under John Key … who was only too willing to wash his hands of Pike River and let a govt department call the shots instead of using his executive position to direct an operation that should have been completed years ago , that is , the entering and retrieval of human remains and forensic evidence from Pike River coal mine .

          • rsbandit 19.4.1.1.1

            So be it. Be any deaths that result in entering the mine be on the heads of those calling for entry.

            I will continue to oppose it and pray that common sense prevails.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 19.4.1.1.1.1

              The only reason you oppose it is because Dear Leader told you to. If Old Dear Leader decides there’s votes in it, you’ll change “your” “mind” faster than you can say sycophant.

              Personally I think we should round up everyone who’s ever lobbied for deregulation and send you in first as a human shield.

              • rsbandit

                I’m a Labour voter, FFS. Why risk more lives? For political gain, dressed up in grief?

                No, I say. No.

                “send you in first as a human shield”

                That really does sadden me. We are supposed to be the party that cares.

                • DH

                  I doubt you’re a Labour voter or any kind of humanist. The handle arsebandit is a bit of a giveaway as to your character, as is your apparent ignorance of basic human nature.

                  Do you even know why people engage in dangerous rescue & recovery actions? They do it because they understand that if the boot was on the other foot they’d want people to do it for them. We take risks to help others so others will take risks for us if we’re ever in need of it.

                  Coal mining is a dangerous occupation and like any occupation of its kind miners work in the implicit understanding that they may either need rescuing themselves one day or they could be rescuing others. If they all knew no-one would come for them no-one would go down a mine.

                  The decision on whether or not to enter the mine is for those who would do it to make. So far they’ve been prevented from even being allowed to make that decision, which could ultimately be no.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Sorry, my mistake. I just don’t think anyone has a right to tell experienced volunteers the level of risk they’re prepared to accept. Or shall we outlaw mountaineering?

  20. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/…/pike-river-families-block-mine-access-road-from-dawn

    Hmmmm… the ‘ Sorry – looks like weve stuffed up ‘ notification comes up if you try to view that link… however you can at least visit that page using the title.

    Good on the Family’s… they have managed so far to get this cringing Solid Energy and other involved party’s on the back foot and on the run. For now.

    What a disgusting episode in NZ history.

    That these people even had to go to these sorts of lengths to get some form of closure and justice from the very officials who were supposed to be the ones upholding safety and justice.

    Totally mind boggling.

  21. Marple 21

    Hey I’m overseas so won’t be there but can I ask (sorry if it has been mentioned before) if there is any way of donating to the protesters?

  22. Thinkerr 22

    Go the families!!

    If there is/was any possibility of re-entering the mine it should be/have been done as soon as possible to do it.

    We have a Prime Minister’s word on that and if you can’t trust the word of the Prime Minister in the time of a national tragedy, what sort of a message does it send?

    If impossible to re-enter, then that’s a different story, but every possibility should be exhausted before that decision is made. I don’t think the issue is about recovery, now, so much as closure – letting the families know what happened (as far as possible) and even if it is found more could have been done, at least Pike River could be an example for the future.

    IMHO, if the government closes the mine up too quickly, there will always be doubt about its motives (mixed up with the debate about whether re-entry was possible) and Pike River will then join a long list of home-grown conspiracy theories with no opportunity for resolution. More material for the likes of Ian Wishart (no disrespect).

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    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    2 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    4 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    4 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    7 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago

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