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Pike River Book Wins Another Award

August 1, 2014

Pike River Book Wins Another Award

Hot on the heels of winning the 2014 Best First Book of Non-fiction Award and being shortlisted for The New Zealand Post Book Award for Non-fiction, Rebecca Macfie’s book Tragedy at Pike River Mine, published by Awa Press, has taken out the inaugural Bert Roth Award for Excellence in Labour History.

The award was recently established by the Labour History Project in memory of Bert Roth (1917–94), one of New Zealand’s foremost labour historians and archivists. Macfie is the first winner.

Tragedy at Pike River Mine was chosen from a shortlist of seven, which included Hazel Armstrong’s Your Life for the Job, Rachel Buchanan’s Stop Press: The last days of the newspapers, Jared Davidson’s Sewing Freedom, and Anne Else’s memoir The Colour of Food, also published by Awa Press

The judges said Macfie ‘with meticulous attention to detail, takes the reader through how many mistakes were made, safety regulations sidelined, danger signs ignored, whistles blown, and then ignored, along the road to the Pike River Mine disaster on November 19, 2010.

‘Every person who was part of this tragedy is given fair treatment, no matter the position they took. Characters are well-rounded and human, and the book is an outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s labour history.’

The Labour History Project was established in 1987 as the Trade Union History Project, and works to encourage and support research and publication on the history of work and workers in New Zealand.

The full text of the judges’ comments on all shortlisted books is available here.


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