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


Charges should have proceeded

Media release

Charges should have proceeded

“All New Zealanders should be seriously concerned about how the Crown dealt with a letter from Peter Whittall’s lawyers some two months before he was discharged” CTU President Helen Kelly said today.

The letter makes clear that Mr Whittall’s offer of payments to Pike River families was conditional on  the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment agreeing that “no evidence would be offered” at Whittall’s trial, thereby ensuring he was acquitted.  The money was  to be paid on that basis.  It also makes plain that if the Crown proceeded with the charges, then alleged incompetency by MBIE in investigating the case would be a key defence strategy

“It is very concerning that this letter has only now seen the light of day.”  The letter was not included in response by the Ministry to official information requests made by the CTU.

It is very concerning that the District Court concluded that the Ministry’s motivation in not proceeding was because of the insufficiency of evidence and that it had “substantial problems in its case against Mr Whittall”, when the full picture is quite different. 

“The facts are clear – this Mine was run in the most dangerous of manners. It exploded only one year after opening killing 29 much loved men. Mr Whittall made several key decisions which a Royal Commission criticised in regards to safety at the mine.”

“Since the explosion the effort to hold to account those responsible has been vigorously fought by those open to accusation and has now been compromised by the Crown in a manner which is highly questionable.”

“New Zealanders who read the letter of Mr Whittall’s lawyers to the MBIE (link below) will be appalled.

“There needs to be scrutiny of this decision both in order for the families of Pike to get some justice but also to reassure all New Zealanders that justice in this country cannot be bought.” Kelly said.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news