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Saying Goodbye to 29 Brave Men

03 December 2010

Click here to watch my video journal about the Pike River Mine tragedy

Saying Goodbye to 29 Brave Men

The Pike River Mine tragedy ripped at the heart of New Zealand. The 29 men who lost their lives have left behind family, friends, and a void that can never be filled.

Yesterday my wife Bronagh and I went to Greymouth for the Pike River National Remembrance Service.

The service was very moving. We heard stories of happy men who were so deeply loved by their families, friends, and community. We shared the pain of those who were saying goodbye to their loved ones in the most tragic of circumstances. And we saw a close-knit community pulling together more than ever before.

In my speech I passed on the sympathies of all New Zealanders. The miners' families have told me that although their personal grief is immeasurable, they have really appreciated the outpouring of support from all over New Zealand and the world. I am proud to be Prime Minister of a country whose people care so much about each other.

The Government is establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Mine tragedy. We're doing everything we can to make sure this tragedy isn't repeated, and we're taking every step we can to get the answers that the families, and all New Zealanders, need.

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To the families of the 29 brave men, I want you to know that all New Zealanders continue to stand alongside you. We can't bring your loved ones back. We can't feel the pain that you are feeling. But our heartfelt thoughts are with you in the trying times ahead.

Many of us didn't get the chance to know your men, but their deaths touched our lives, and we will remember them. May they rest in peace.

You can read my speech from yesterday's service here.

Best wishes,

John Key
Prime Minister

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