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National folds under pressure on mining

Labour spokesperson

Labour Party MP

17 August 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
National folds under pressure on mining

An under pressure National Government that has failed to act on safety concerns since the Pike River mine disaster today finally backed down and introduced new safety measures, but they don’t go far enough, Labour spokesperson Darien Fenton says.

“The Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson has repeatedly refused to do anything about improving mine safety despite mounting evidence that her Department of Labour has been drastically under-resourced and under pressure, not only in mine safety but safety across the board.

“Labour has repeatedly called for the National Government to take action and an increase in the mine inspectorate is a start, but she is still ignoring other issues.

“Mining regulations need to be updated, check inspectors should be reinstated and workplace health and safety training needs to be properly funded,” Darien Fenton said.

Damien O’Connor said he was saddened that National had for months put politics ahead of people. Today’s announcement is a start but more may need to be done.

“We will be watching this Government’s moves closely. We need to ensure the Minister backs up her words with action and actually delivers on her promise to increase mines inspectors,’ Damien O’Connor said.

Labour will announce more details in relation to mining safety regulations at the Council of Trade Unions conference in Wellington on Friday.


© Scoop Media

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