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No ifs or buts, Government should pay miners’ families

David CUNLIFFE

Labour Leader

14 November 2013                                         MEDIA STATEMENT

No ifs or buts, Government should pay miners’ families

It is morally repugnant that the Government has chosen to walk away from its responsibility to compensate the families of the men killed at Pike River, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“In deciding not to pay those families a cent John Key and his Cabinet colleagues are cheating them of their legitimate court-ordered compensation.

“Mr Key says he has ‘great sympathy’ for the families. That sympathy, however, comes with a ‘but’.

“It shouldn’t and he knows it.

“A report into the mine explosion found systemic failures by several government departments contributed to the deaths of the 29 miners.

“Two of the shareholders in Pike River Coal were also Crown agencies – ACC and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

“There is nothing stopping the Prime Minister making a couple of quick phone calls to the Chairs of those boards and setting expectations about a pay-out in some shape or form.

“He should also be calling other significant shareholders and telling them in no uncertain terms to fulfil their moral obligations.

“If Mr Key can’t organise his Government to honour the lives of the dead miners then he does not deserve to be Prime Minister,” David Cunliffe said.

ENDS



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