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Former Pike River CEO disappointed by reaction of families


Media Release

17 December 2013

Former Pike River CEO disappointed by reaction of families to meeting offer

This media release is made by Stuart Grieve QC and Stacey Shortall, lawyers for Peter Whittall.

Mr Whittall offered to meet privately this week in Greymouth with the families of those men who lost their lives in the Pike River coal mine. The offer was made sincerely and in good faith in the hope of achieving some reconciliation by Mr Whittall personally expressing his sympathy for the families’ suffering.

Regrettably Mr Whittall’s offer has been met with attacks from many quarters, some of which have been quite inappropriate and derogatory. Not only was the offer publicly rejected by family spokespeople but it was also met with threats of private prosecution and further litigation.

In these circumstances, we have advised Mr Whittall that he should not meet with any families at this time. Mr Whittall is disappointed but has accepted our advice.

There have been reports that there may be some family members who wish to meet Mr Whittall. Unfortunately the threat of further litigation would severely constrain what he would otherwise wish to say. Depending on the circumstances, Mr Whittall may be prepared to consider a meeting at a later stage.

The three former directors who offered to accompany Mr Whittall to the meeting support Mr Whittall’s decision.

We do not intend to make any further public statement about this matter.

ENDS

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