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

#SaveCampbellLive : Mediaworks Delivered 104,000 Petition Signatures At TV3's Newton HQ
#PonyTailGate #TailGate Full Coverage

Pukeahu Park : ANZAC 100th Anniversary Dawn Service In Pictures

Roughly 18,000 people gathered this morning at Pukeahu Memorial Park for the Anzac day centenary. Anticipating the large turnout, patrons arrived as early as 4.30. It was virtually impossible to get near the Memorial after 5am. By 6, the crowds on Taranaki Street had stretched as far back as the Z Petrol station.

The screens erected around the park displayed the live events to those who had turned up. The heat generated by the huge number of people caused many to take a turn. Medics and ambulances were on hand for the fainting crowd members. Only twenty minutes into the ceremony, one medic said they had already dealt with 15 to 20 spells. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news