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News Update: February hearings start Wednesday 8

Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy


~ January 18, 2012 ~
February hearings start Wednesday 8 February
The Commission’s hearings on Phase Three entitled What happened at Pike River? will resume in Greymouth at 10.00am on Wednesday 8 February 2012.

Five witnesses are to be called during the hearings which are scheduled to finish by Friday 17 February.

The Commission will examine the cause of the explosions and the mine systems, with a focus on the elements that contributed to the initial explosion.

Australian experts to give evidence
Two Australian experts who gave advice as part of the Department of Labour investigative report will be called on to give insights into what happened at Pike River Coal Ltd.

David Reece, an Australian consultant who provided expertise on mine design and ventilation and Tony Reczek another Australian consultant who provided expertise on electrical issues will be among those to appear at the February hearings.

Pike River Royal Commission February Hearings Witness List

Hearings starting Wednesday 8 February 10.00am

Brett Murray, General Manager, National Services and Support, Department of Labour.

David Reece, Consultant from Australia providing expert advice on mine design, ventilation and other matters to the Department of Labour investigative team.

Hearings starting Monday 13 February 10.00am

Tony Reczek, Consultant from Australia providing expert advice on electrical issues to the Department of Labour investigative team.

Douglas White, Former General Manager, Pike River Coal Ltd.

Pieter van Rooyan, Former Manager, Technical Services, Pike River Coal Ltd.

Phase four: policy aspects work
The Commission is seeking input on the policy issues it needs to address and options for change.

This includes overseas mining regulation and practice, whether extra regulation is needed in New Zealand and the profile of an effective mining inspectorate.

The Commission has developed a series of questions it wants to consider as part of this work. They relate to mining regulation and recognised practice, the interaction between mining and other legal requirements (including conservation and the environment) and the resourcing and administration a mining inspectorate.

The list of questions is available here in Minute No.10.

The Commission expects to seek expert advice on the policy issues, and will also hold discussions with parties most affected by particular policy aspects.

Feedback on policy issues will be included in the final hearings planned for April.

Final submissions and final hearings scheduled for 2 April
A hearing has been scheduled starting on Monday 2 April in Greymouth to hear final submissions and feedback on policy issues.

This is subject to the Commission being granted an extension to its reporting date.

The Commission is seeking final written submissions from participants on any or all matters considered during the inquiry.

The final submissions hearing will provide an opportunity for both factual and policy questions to be debated in a public forum.

~ Key Dates ~
Wednesday 8 February – Friday 17 February: Phase 3 hearings

Friday March 16: Policy and final submissions due

Monday 2 April: Final hearings begin in Greymouth


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