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Government rejects justice for Pike River dead

Government rejects justice for Pike River dead
Stand With Pike media release - 7 February 2017

The Government’s rejection of Andrew Little’s bill to help gain safe re-entry to the Pike River drift is disappointing, say Pike River families.

“Andrew has been incredibly supportive of our fight for justice and we welcome his efforts to bring that justice closer,” says Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton was killed at Pike River.

“We’re disappointed the Government has turned down the chance to remove barriers to safe re-entry of the drift.

“Getting into the drift could reveal what killed our boys and help prevent similar disasters elsewhere.

“I want to be clear, we’re not talking about re-entering the mine. We’re talking about the drift - a 2.3km tunnel through solid rock that leads to the mine. International mining experts have agreed it can be done, mines rescue experts say it can be done, people who worked on the recovery process at Pike say it can be done.

“It’s staggering that the Government would refuse to even consider it.

“It’s disappointing that Solid Energy's directors need special treatment just to do the right thing. It wouldn’t be needed if the Government stepped up, listened to the experts, and acted in good faith rather than dodging us.

“We will be attending the Commerce Select Committee with Dame Fiona Kidman next week to put our case once again. Former Chief Inspector of Mines, Tony Forster will be joining us. Maybe the Government will listen to him. They certainly haven’t listened to us.”

The Commerce Select Committee meets on 16 February. Pike River families are currently negotiating a meeting with Prime Minister Bill English.


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