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Member since 18 Jul 2008
Member from Porirua
Just to correct the record the snail move was at the Stockton open cast mine, not the Pike River mine.And yes someone needs to be held accountable and it will either be the Pike River Mine for trying to save money or the governemnt for setting the standards so low.Cheers
Member since 18 Mar 2007
Member from Papakura
You may need to do more homework on the odd snail as it involved the track/road leading up to the sumit of the hill from where they would have operated the second shaft.
This is from memory off course....
Member since 02 Nov 2006
Member from Linwood
I had never heard of this mine until the disaster and I bet I am not the only one. The fact is that the mine was allowed to operate. Whether you don't give a rats arse who is to blame or not is not important but it is important to put the blame where it belongs. The loopholes are mammoth in our safety laws and a lot of noise is heard.
Who was the MInister of Mines at the time ? Just because the Greens make protests, what clout do they have to force a mine to fail to take every safety measure in desperation to open? The owners and the Ministry took a chance and lost 29 good men because of neglect to safety. How many voices were raised in protest when it was given the go ahead ?
Can we expect "Mr. Nobody" to be blamed.
Member since 26 Nov 2006
Member from Dobson
A little bit of history about the mine. When the formation of the Paparoa National Park was first mooted, a condition of the land being turned over for a National Park, was that access was guaranteed for the development of the Pike River Coal Mine. DoC agreed and couldn't get it's hands on the land quick enough. As soon as the Park was set up, DoC immediately went back on it's word (typical Govt Dept) and PRC then had to fight through the Courts for 6 years at a cost of many millions to get the access that had been guaranteed. DoC then made the conditions so tight that the road ended up winding through the bush and is so narrow that it is one way only in many places, the bridges are all one-way and along side that road is the pipeline carrying both water and coal, making it very narrow in places. This pipe also has to follow the road twisting and turning instead of being able to travel in a straight line as would have been logical. There are signs up on the roads to watch for weka. If you run one over, there is massive amounts of paper work involved (that is, if you are seen/caught before you can chuck it off the road out of sight). PRC was actually given an award by DoC for the work they had done in conservation, so they are not the big scary monster they are being made out. I know a lot of the miners, (some still alive and some dead) several admin staff and a few of the management and I know from all of them just what restrictions they were trying to operate the mine under. In fact I had so much confidence in what they were doing that we bought a fair chunk of PRC stock, which of course is now not worth the paper it is written on.
Member since 22 Oct 2006
Member from Christchurch CBD
The Government should replace current Minister Kate Wilkinson and act immediately to improve mine safety. The Royal Commission has heard from Dept. of Labour witness that Ms Wilkinson rejected suggested improvements to mine safety in 2009. She has compromised her credibility by rejecting improvements suggested in a 2008 Dept of Labour Discussion paper such as check inspectors.Nothing has been done to improve mine safety for workers since PIKE RIVER.The Bolger National Government of 1992 disestablished the position of check inspectors If Ms Wilkinson is an impediment to improving mine safety she should go.
Member since 31 Jan 2007
Member from Mosgiel
If it was disestablished by Bolger why didn't your beloved Government reestablish it in the nine long hard years they were stuffing up the Country with their Smacking Bill and there Homo. Bill, but then I presume these were of more interest to them than a Bill that would save miners lives.
One thing stood out like a sore thumb at Decembers 6th memorial service for the brave 29 workers trapped underground at Pike River. It was abundantly clear to New Zealanders gathered for the service that John Key was right behind Pike River Company Manager and management as they stood shoulder to shoulder in the stand for the service. Down in the grounds were all the Workers.The great Divide of The Bosses & servants was evident.And John Keys hollow words We will bring those men home whatever it takes.Questions were being asked right from the start but Key and the media labelled Peter Whittall a hero.Now charges have been laid and The Dept of Labours own actions in providing external oversight at the mine will be in the spotlight when the Royal Commission of Inquiry resumes in Greymouth tomorrow.
Member since 29 Jun 2006
Member from Shirley
Benny,perhaps you could open your other eye.
It looks to me as if ALL political parties have a share in the blame for the conditions at Pike river mine,rather than it being the fault of just one party.
And political point scoring about such a tragic event is distasteful.
Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson has had3 years to put more than one mines inspector back on the job. The evidence of Michael Firmin and another from Australia show that this government have been behind The Company first and foremost and not the workers. Bernie Monk a lost Pike Miners father articulates well on behalf of Pike River miners families.Kate Wilkinson every day you deny a probem exists is a day that puts our miners at greater risk. Shame on John Key for not bringing the men home as promised and on Kate Wilkinson for failing as a Minister of Labour.
On the Coast, mining disasters are an inherent fact of life. What sticks in our craw is the way the Pike disaster was handled by the Police in stopping any rescue attempt at all. In every other disaster the mines rescue teams have got in straight away and many were rescued, only those they couldn't reach were left. The wholesale leaving of our men is an obscenity!! One of our old friends, who died recently at 86, was among the rescuers at Strongman and when the police showed up they were told in no uncertain terms to bugger off and leave it to those who knew what they were doing. What a pity the same thing did not happen at Pike. All this hand wringing by the authorities at the moment cuts no ice with me.
OKK I appreciate your experience and insight. And now we have that policeman in charge in Christchurch.
"What sticks in our craw is the way the Pike disaster was handled by the Police in stopping any rescue attempt at all. In every other disaster the mines rescue teams have got in straight away and many were rescued, only those they couldn't reach were left."
OKK,I tend to agree - & I HOPE that is something which comes out during the enquiry.
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