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Whittall decision wrong

Whittall decision wrong

Peter Whittall should have gone to court over his role in relation to the 2010 disaster at Pike River, Green Party MP Kevin Hague said today.

Charges against former Pike River Coal Chief Executive Peter Whittall in relation to the 2010 disaster at the mine have been dropped.

“It is an insult to the families of the dead men, and to their memory, that Government is enabling Mr Whittall to avoid accountability and justice,” Mr Hague said today.

“There was a mountain of evidence against Mr Whittall, presented to the Royal Commission and gathered by the Department of Labour, and for that to now not go before a Court is an affront to New Zealand’s basic principles of justice.

“The Government is trying to avoid the embarrassment – that it deserves – of having Mr Whittall point out, from the stand, the extraordinary failures of the Department of Labour.

“Due to the charges being dropped this will no longer happen.

“Suggestions that Mr Whittall will now pay compensation along with other directors and officers of Pike River Coal Ltd should have had no bearing on whether or not this matter went to court,” Mr Hague said.

“The failure of Pike River owners and directors, and of Government, to provide proper compensation to the families ought not to provide Mr Whittall with the opportunity to buy his way out of justice.”


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