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Pike Report No Comfort For Families

Darien
FENTON
Spokesperson on Labour
Damien
O’Connor
West Coast Tasman MP

11 April 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Pike Report No Comfort For Families

The independent report into the Pike River Mine tragedy released last night will be of no comfort to the families of those who lost their lives, say Labour MPs Darien Fenton and Damien O’Connor.

“The families of the men lost at Pike River are understandably angry and frustrated,” says Damien O’Connor.

“The report prepared for MoBIE says that the Department of Labour’s performance as health and safety regulator was ineffectual and dysfunctional. So being told no individuals were at fault will be a tough pill to swallow.

“What this report shows is the folly of a hands-off approach to the mining sector, and health and safety in particular. The market cannot be left to its own devices when lives are at stake,” says Damien O’Connor.

“This report confirms again what the families and the country already knew – that the Department of Labour and the government failed the mine workers at Pike,” says Darien Fenton.

“The light-handed approach to regulation of mining was a tragic mistake, and must be urgently addressed. The government needs to fast-track the implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations – including the establishment of a dedicated health and safety regulator.

“Instead, the government is dragging the chain. It plans to take nearly a year to get the new health and safety structure in place.

“In the meantime workers are left relying on an under-resourced system where restructuring and job losses have become the norm. That is just reckless,” says Darien Fenton.

labour.org.nz

ENDS

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