The right thing to do

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 pm, November 19th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: health and safety - Tags: ,

David Cunliffe has pledged that the next Labour government will pay the court-ordered compensation owed to the families of the disaster’s victims, and will then recover the money from Pike’s shareholders.

As he succinctly puts it – this is the right thing to do.

23 comments on “The right thing to do”

  1. Ad 1

    Ahhhh…. and folks, we had to endure Goff and Shearer to get him.

    But we did.

    • Saarbo 1.1

      “I’d love to help but there is no moral obligation to do so”

      This quote from John Key sums The National Party up….ugly!

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Damn proud to be Labour, damn proud to support David Cunliffe as PM 2014.

  3. Murray Olsen 3

    Looking a lot better than Shearer ever did.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Here’s what will happen:

    The usual suspects say “Playing politics!”.

    Then, some time before the election, Key will announce that the families will receive compensation.

    The same usual suspects will say “Great leadership, John!”.

    It will be the right result for the families, but it’s sad that it will get dragged out this way.

    (PS Any Key-fans who disagree, just bookmark the thread. Saves time later).

    • infused 4.1

      No point commenting… think it got all the air time it needed tonight.

    • miravox 4.2

      +1 although it was absolutely the right thing to do. I don’t really care if NActs pay the compensation, because that is the right thing to do. Bring it on John – we won’t forget that if you pay, you did so under duress, not because you care.

    • Francis 4.3

      Exactly. If the opposition (particularly Labour or the Greens) promise or mention anything, it’s “playing politics”. If the government (National) does anything, then it has nothing to do with politics. I understand how it can be perceived that way, but it basically means that the opposition cannot do or say anything without it being seen as using a situation to their advantage (while the government can do that as much as they like).

      Holding the government to account is one of the primary reasons for having an opposition, and if this leads to John Key caving in and doing the right thing, then the opposition is doing the job of standing up for the people perfectly well (something which the media often seems to be lacking at).

  5. bad12 5

    Indeed, ”the right thing to do”, it did tho from among his rightly administered criticism of Slippery the Prime Minister’s miserable actions in showing little care for the Pike River families, along with the abysmal Minister Bridge’s chiming in as the chorus, take David Cunliffe a while to get around to the point of directly saying that His Government would pay that compensation,

    Long enough i will happily admit where my patience had worn to the point of openly criticising Him for such a failure,(after all it’s a paltry 3 million dollars and when compared with Slippery’s handouts to the rich in the past 5 years of largesse to His mates is a mere spit in the wind),

    i can now happily withdraw my previously posted criticism of David Cunliffe over the issue, but, will point out that if Labour are to mount attacks upon this abysmal Government of shysters there need be a counter-proposal put forward for people to support just as the leader did today,

    i am sure the Pike River families will rest easier in their beds tonight having heard Cunliffes announcement…

    • infused 5.1

      You do know that ACC has paid out, as well as large donations going to these families right?

      Just saying. It’s not like they have not received anything.

      I’m on the fence. ACC is here for stuff like this. At the same time, it’s only 3m, so why not pay it out.

      There’s a lot of factors to take in to consideration.

      To the politics, I don’t think this will go down very well – just going by what I’ve heard from people so far. I think it’s a very daring move to play on something like this.

      It’s either going to work very much in his favor, or back fire massively.

      Reason for this is the time of the announcement. A bit like what Russell Norman did last week.

      Time will tell.

      • Chris 5.1.1

        Infused you are confusing ACC i.e. Insurance that the workers paid premiums for and a Court Ordered Penalty for the total disregard the Pike River Mining Co and its shareholders had for their employees.

        As to donations made… so what if the families get a little extra, many have lost least 20 to 30 years income.

        Private donations do not cancel out the Employers responsibilities.

        • bad12

          Absolutely right Chris, the paltry amount paid out by ACC upon the death of a worker does not take into account the familiy left behind and the fact that a lifetime of earnings have been lost to them, and nor do Court orders for compensation surrounding the responsibilities of employers around such workplace deaths,

          My view is that the Government has a moral duty, which obviously we cannot expect the likes of Slippery’s Government or Infused to be able to grasp as a concept, where the States regulator failed miserably in it’s duty to protect the men working the Pike River Mine,

          That same moral duty under the auspices of the Neo-Liberal deregulation and business responsibility ethos must also attach it’s self to the shareholders of the Pike River Mining company with the Government also being one, albeit with a minor shareholding,

          It then becomes obvious with a 99% vote by those shareholders not to ‘do the right thing’ and pay the Court awarded compensation in the face of Pike Rivers insolvency knowing full well that the mine was insured with policy reputed to be in the realm of $100 million dollars that these shareholders have little regard for matters of morality and even less regard for ‘personal responsibility’ unless of course the pushing of such an ethos benefits them financially,

          My view, after considering such an abdication of ‘responsibility’ by these particular shareholders who in the final analysis must carry a sizable amount of the guilt over the actions of the company they were in effect the owners of is that David Cunliffe when Prime Minister need not pursue them as individuals to recoup the monies ordered paid by the Court,

          A far better proposition would be for ACC to administer a separate fund specifically for situations like what has occurred surrounding the 29 Pike River families, such a fund to ensure company shareholders adhere to their responsibilities could well be levied against ALL shares bought on the NZ stock exchange…

          • Ennui

            Good points re shareholder responsibility: unfortunately the concept and laws around Limited Liability entities drives exactly that behavior.

            The news last night was illuminating, Key hid behind the shareholders decision, the Minister “knew” nothing much…..but the maths were a give away. Government via Crown entites and funds owned around 7.5% of the companies involved…the shareholders voted 99% ergo the government voted with them. That is how it is in a roundabout fashion, but this clearly indicates a decision and vote by the government or their agents on their behalf.

  6. locus 6

    Thank you David, but let’s go futher than just retributive and restorative justice.

    Agree to enact legislation spelling out employers’ responsibilities for putting in place systems and equipment to prevent major accidents, and set up a government body with the espertise and teeth to enforce the legislation.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1

      We could call it “the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992”.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Minor changes to make managers and board members criminally responsible for professional negligence in health and safety matters resulting in death or serious injury would be welcome.

        • vto

          Agree completely.

          The negligence of the Pike River management and board led DIRECTLY to these 29 men being killed.

          Corporate manslaughter – why should there be no such thing? Is there any good reason? Kong? Maybe you have a good answer?

          edit: in fact Pike was not just negligence, it was wilful negligence as they were under such immense and self-induced financial pressure.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep. Forget about fining companies (although that should also happen). Prison time needs to be in the law.

  7. Tracey 8

    Actually limited liability doesnt extend to shareholders under the companies act but few know it and fewer act on it.

  8. Tracey 9

    Sorry I meant directors not shareholders. Limited liability is for the protection of shareholders not directors.

  9. finbar 10

    No crib with Davids cry,we shall stand up for the Pike.Yet his way of saying it was a shallow look.Bad tv look ,was that what the A.B.C. CLUB was getting at,hope not,just was not a good look the way he came across.

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