Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Pike River Independent investigation report released


Media release

10 April 2013


Independent investigation report released

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Chief Executive David Smol today released the findings and recommendations of the independent investigation he commissioned following the report of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.

The independent investigation report including an executive summary is available at this link along with Questions and Answers.

The following statement can be attributed to David Smol:

“The day after the Royal Commission reported on 5 November 2012, I announced there would be an independent investigation using experienced investigators from outside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to advise me on any implications for me as an employer from the Commission’s findings. Many individuals with direct management accountability no longer work at MBIE but the independent investigation was to enable me to decide whether to commence any disciplinary action against current staff.

“I would like to thank the independent investigators David Shanks (Deputy Chief Executive of Corporate and Governance at the Ministry of Social Development) and Jane Meares (barrister at Clifton Chambers) for their work.

“The independent investigators followed an exhaustive, robust, and thorough process. Their investigation involved interviews with current and former staff and consideration of documentation, employment and operating procedures at relevant times in the former Department of Labour (DOL) and the former Ministry of Economic Development (MED) which are now part of MBIE.

“The investigation found there were actions or more often inactions on the part of officials in both agencies that may have contributed to the tragedy. But they did not find evidence of carelessness, incompetence or breach of policy on the part of any staff including managers that would merit an employment investigation.

“The investigators concluded instead that systemic failures in the agencies meant that an employment investigation is not warranted. The investigators said DOL’s performance as a health and safety regulator was ‘dysfunctional and ineffectual’.

“In relation to MED’s assessment and monitoring of Pike’s mining permit, the investigators found that such functions were discharged in a ‘light-handed and perfunctory way’.

“Like the Royal Commission report, the report of the independent investigators is sobering as to the breadth of systems failure. The performance of the former departments was not acceptable. These are serious lessons for the public service and other regulators and enforcement agencies.

“As the investigators say, an effective health and safety regulator must have a culture that focuses on doing everything it can to reduce the risk of harm and danger to New Zealanders rather than being focussed on reputational and organisational risk.

“I accept the findings and apologise again to the Pike River families for these failures. More work will be done in response to this investigation, in addition to the extensive work already underway to respond to Pike River Tragedy and the report of the Royal Commission.

“I have moved to implement all the independent investigators’ recommendations. These include putting in place proper systems to enable staff and managers at all levels to escalate serious concerns about risk quickly and transparently so that proper decisions can be made about them.

“As recommended, we will conduct post-implementation reviews across all the work programmes in both New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals and Health and Safety Group including as it transitions to the new crown agency for workplace health and safety.

“We must ensure we have learned from the lessons of the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy. We owe it to the memories of those who died,” Mr Smol concluded.

In response to the Tragedy and report of the Royal Commission, the work already underway or completed includes:
• The Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety was set up and will make recommendations to Ministers by the end of April.
• The Pike River Implementation Plan outlines how each of the Royal Commission recommendations is being addressed, including the establishment of a new health and safety regulatory regime for the mining sector.
• Ministers have announced the establishment of a new Crown Agent that will be dedicated to health and safety.
• The High Hazards Unit was established with a specific focus on high hazard industries and employers including the mining, petroleum and geothermal areas.
• From 1 July, there will be a new Health and Safety Inspectorate with new specialist roles, new responsibilities and a new way of working. There are currently 139 Health and Safety Inspectors, and under the new Inspectorate, the number will increase to 158.
• The Lifting Our Game Programme is changing the way MBIE delivers health and safety regulation to improve performance. This change focuses on lifting capability at the frontline, and on building the systems, processes and tools to be effective. This programme is expected to provide a strong foundation for the new agency.
• A bill is going through Parliament which will ensure that the health and safety regulator’s view is taken into account before mining permits are issued. An interim process to ensure health and safety issues are considered in the allocation of permits has been set up pending passage of the bill.
• The need to build capability in the management of minerals permitting was recognised in 2010 as the result of a strategic review. New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals, a business unit within MBIE, was established in May 2010 to build on the former Crown Minerals unit. It was set up to take a more strategic approach, with greater sector and industry leadership responsibilities, a strengthened commercial focus and enhanced capability in the form of specialist skill sets and greater staff numbers.
ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite.

Published this morning, the final “Better Urban Planning” report is the culmination of eight years of investigations ordered by the government into the causes of unaffordable housing and urban planning. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news