Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Acting Minister welcomes release of Pike River report

Hon Chris Finlayson
Acting Minister of Labour
5 November 2012 Media Statement
Acting Minister welcomes release of Pike River report

Acting Labour Minister Chris Finlayson has welcomed the public release of the report of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.

Earlier today in Greymouth, the Government released the report to the families of the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine on 19 November 2010.

The report found multiple operational and systemic issues with Pike River Coal and its operation of the mine. It also found that government regulation of mine safety has been ineffective, with a decline in the support of the mining inspectorate in the past 20 years.

The Government broadly accepts all 16 of the Royal Commission’s recommendations that cover administrative reform, stronger regulation, changes to mining legislation, improving workplace health and safety, and emergency management.

“I believe it is our duty to the 29 miners who died and their families to oversee the implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations,” Mr Finlayson says.

“Officials at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have been instructed to undertake the work in the labour area and provide advice to Cabinet.

“In the two years since this tragedy, concerted action has been taken to improve safety in mines and all other work places.”

Mr Finlayson says as soon as the scale of the Pike River tragedy and the underlying organisational issues within the then Department of Labour became clear, the Government took action by:

• Completing a safety audit of all underground coal mines by independent experts from the Australian mining industry to ensure there were no immediate dangers to other miners.
• Committing $1.5 million in funding for the establishment of the High Hazards Unit.
• Boosting workplace health and safety funding by $37 million over four years in Budget 2012.

“The Government has also set a target to reduce deaths and injuries in the workplace by 25 per cent by 2020, and has set up an independent taskforce to review the health and safety system in this country. We are expecting broad, innovative recommendations from the taskforce in April next year.”

Some of the Royal Commission’s recommended actions have already been initiated by the Government, including work to review the regulatory framework for mining and develop official guidance for mine operators.

A Bill to strengthen the mine permitting process that will require applicants to demonstrate that their mine will be safe is currently before Parliament and set to be passed next year.

MBIE - Labour is in the middle of a major restructuring around how it delivers health and safety regulation in general.

The Ministry has already started a significant amount of work to improve its performance. It will keep progressing and will merge that work into its implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

The report is available at: http://www.pikeriver.royalcommission.govt.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Presser: ‘Precarious’ Solid Energy In Banks’ Hands

Liquidation of state-owned coal company Solid Energy “cannot be ruled out” but is “not the number one preferred option of the government,” says Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed the beleaguered company was discussed today at Cabinet as its banking syndicate grapples with its commercially dire prospects. More>>

ALSO:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news