Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Charges dismissed against former Pike River CEO

Media Release

12 December 2013

Charges dismissed against former Pike River CEO

This media release is made by John Dow, Ray Meyer, Stuart Nattrass and Peter Whittall, some of the former directors and officers of Pike River Coal Limited (in receivership), through their lawyers at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has decided not to proceed with its health and safety prosecution of Mr Whittall and all the charges previously laid against him have been dismissed.

Mr Whittall has always maintained his innocence.

As details of the prosecution case were made available over a lengthy period, fundamental deficiencies and flaws in the case were identified. It is Mr Whittall’s view that these have led to the dismissal of the charges.

Establishing the charges against Mr Whittall individually was always going to be considerably more difficult than sheeting home collective responsibility to the company.

The case was still in an early preparation phase and the trial would not have started until mid to late 2014 and would have taken at least four months to complete. The costs would have been significant for all parties.

Funds that would have been used to defend the case are now available for the families of the victims and the two survivors. Arrangements are being made for payment on behalf of the company’s directors and officers of the $3.41 million amount that the company was ordered to pay.

Our clients wish to reiterate their heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of those men who lost their lives in the Pike River coal mine in November 2010.  Not a day passes without them reflecting on the loss that many have been forced to suffer.

Mr Whittall has offered to meet with the families to convey these sentiments in person. Mr Dow, Mr Meyer and Mr Nattrass will join him. Other directors Tony Radford, Dipak Agarwalla, Arun Jagatramka, Sanjay Loyalka and Surendra Sinha have also been invited by Mr Whittall to attend.

Our clients do not intend at this time to make any further public statement and ask that the media respect their privacy and that of their families.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>


Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>


Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>


Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>


ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>


Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>


Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news