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Another Pike River investigation not the answer

27 November 2012

Another Pike River investigation not the answer

The announcement by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that it is conducting an independent investigation in to the Pike River tragedy is a face-saving exercise from a department that has already been exposed as failing in its duty to protect workers, says West Coast-Tasman Labour MP Damien O’Connor.

“A previous independent inquiry in to the interactions between the Department of Labour and Pike River Coal by MoBIE was of limited value. Not only did it fail to expose the underlying flaw of inadequate mining regulations under the Health Safety and Employment Act, but its conclusion - that the department had no role in advising the mining industry and had a responsibility to build a client relationship with Pike River as a ‘modern regulator’ - was basically flawed.

“The department failed in its basic responsibility to protect the lives of workers at the mine. The approach being taken with this latest investigation is unlikely to deliver any further progress in the area of safety.

“Instead of instigating yet another witch hunt, the department would do better to admit that New Zealand mine safety systems have failed and move to implement the Queensland mine regulations or their equivalent immediately,“ said Damien O’Connor.

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