Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, November 18th, 2018 - 102 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, disaster, Environment, health and safety, labour, Media, Mining, nz first, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, workers' rights, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: pike river, pike river mine
Of all of the atrocious things that Stacey Kirk has written her latest article about Pike River is a leading contender for the worst ever.
Here is how it starts:
It’s a big price to pay for political adulation – someone’s life.
And if anything goes wrong, Andrew Little’s signature is the only one on the cheque.
He will be praying absolutely nothing goes awry when he sends people back down the mine shaft of a gaseous grave, now almost euphemistically known as Pike River.
If anyone is hurt, the deal is that it’s entirely on him. Those terms were made very clear with the establishment of his role and the stipulation from the Prime Minister that the final decision would rest with the “Minister responsible for re-entry into Pike River”.
Get that? Andrew Little is willing for someone to die so he can get a bit of political adulation.
And the blood will be on his hands.
There are three basic problems with her article.
Firstly there is no reference in her article to the months of work that has gone into the plan and the conclusion by safety experts that the planed entry is technically feasible, achievable safely and consistent with the general requirements of the HSWA and the specific requirements of the HSWA mining operations regulations. Completely ignoring the conclusions of experts is not something a reporter should normally do.
Secondly Little is being blasted for something that has not even happened.
And thirdly there is no appreciation that we are dealing with potentially the biggest crime scene in the country. This of itself demands that the mine be investigated.
She has this doozie of a comment:
A mine filled with explosive gases, no matter how much are pumped out, surrounded by rock of variable stability and the simple fact it’s a coal mine – which in the best of situations are hazardous sites – there is no way it’s objectively safe.
This is why the the mine needs to be investigated. That the mine owner and management allowed it to continue to operate with faulty methane sensors and with a number of breaches of basic safety requirements still stuns me. Why there has not been more dramatic action taken against them still stuns me.
Fellow National cheerleader John Armstrong has written something similar, claiming that the decision is about shabby postering not truth and justice. He thinks that the decision is because of some Winston Peters posturing in the run up to the last election. He clearly has no idea at the depth of feeling caused by Pike River or the overwhelming support from within the Trade Union movement that Little’s action has. And it is not about politics. It is the right thing to do.
How about elements of the media criticise the Government for things that have actually happened. Not things that in all likelihood will not happen.