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Pike River Disaster

26 NOVEMBER 2010

Pike River Disaster

In the twenty-first century we are inclined to believe that disasters will not befall us, that our technology can fully protect us. This week the Pike River Mine disaster has been a stark reminder that life is not so secure.

Mining remains a dangerous occupation. That is why the mythology of the miner is as potent today as it has been for centuries. There are 29 families on the West Coast and elsewhere in New Zealand, and in Australia, South Africa and Scotland, who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. They will know that the whole nation stands alongside them in their loss.

It is at times like this that we share our common humanity, when we appreciate our shared values as a nation, and when we reflect on how we are connected to one another.

The tragedy also shows that our trusted friends will come to our aid. As soon as they knew of our need the Australian Government flew the specialist mine robot from Perth directly to Greymouth on an RAAF Hercules. Specialist equipment from Australia may also be used for the recovery. Julia Gillard has assured John Key that they will fly over anything that will help.

In the days and weeks ahead there will be many questions about how the tragedy happened. But for the time being we put those aside, and we stand together with the families in their loss.


To all the North Shore secondary students currently taking your end-of-year exams – good luck!

These exams are the culmination of your year’s work. I am sure that all the effort that you have put in will be clearly reflected in your final results.

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp

MP North Shore


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