Pike families angry at PM's stance
Tue, 09 Oct 2012 8:12p.m.
By Jenny Suo
The spokesman for some of the pike river mine victims, says the Prime Minister has stopped listening to them.
Bernie Monk met with John Key to discuss the families' own plan to recover the 29 bodies, which have been trapped underground for almost two years now.
But despite Solid Energy agreeing to help if the plan received official approval, Mr Monk says the Prime Minister wasn't interested.
“We want to stage our own rescue and we've got our own people in the West Coast to do it,” Mr Monk says. “John just shows us no authority and he just doesn’t want to listen to us.”
Mr Key met with Mr Monk today and Mr Monk says experts think it's possible to enter the mine through the drift, while Mr Key says he's heard otherwise.
“What I said is ‘look I’ll go away and have some discussion about what you said to me’, but I cant make commitments on the fly,” Mr Key says. “But I was very honest with him - every expert I’ve ever had in my office has always said to me the probability of getting into the mine is very low because it is extremely dangerous.”
Solid Energy announced today that they're looking to develop a plan for tunnel exploration for approval by the middle of next year.
But it would give Mr Monk access to the site if his plan was reviewed and deemed safe by the high hazards unit.
“Don Elder told me yesterday over the phone that if we can get the force together, they would give us all the equipment we need to do a recovery of the drift.”
Mr Key says he understands Mr Monk's frustration but he won’t be putting lives at risk to enter the mine
Mr Monk is now hoping for another meeting with the Prime Minister where experts from both sides are present. In the mean time he'll keep working on his recovery plan.
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10/10/2012 8:55:26 a.m.
Mark Cummins wrote:
May I suggest approching this in another way. You could turn this tragedy into a clean coal research project that could create jobs and energy resources for future generations. The fire control foam can be used as a feedstock for microbes that convert oxygen into inert gases that extinguish coal fires and prevents explosions. It also feeds the microbes that turn coal into clean burning fuel to power electric generators and it also produces valuable coal by-products. This would more than pay the cost of recovering the miners. Do something positive but DO SOMETHING!
9/10/2012 11:44:54 p.m.
JK has a number of issues which he needs to get over if doesn't want this to be yet another large nail in his political coffin! First problem JK has is because he never had a "real" father he doesn't understand when men say: "a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do"! This is all about courage JK- really "stepping up to the plate"! Would you leave your own son in there to rot JK? - I think not but JK doesn't understand why not and he needs to think about this! The second problem JK has (and Solid Energy has as well) is this legal liability issue if a recovery attempt turns out to be unsafe. On this issue arguably (and JK could get Crown legal advice on this) if Mines Rescue want to have a go at a recovery and believe (in their expert opinion )it is safe to do so then an attempt at recovery by Mines Rescue would arguably be "intentional risk taking" in law - not an "unsafe act" or an "unsafe working environment" - in other words no legal liability for the government or Solid Energy if it all turns to custard! Maybe there is some paperwork and signatures needed to solve this issue - not a biggy! Third problem JK has is some "expert" has said the mine is still unsafe for a recovery. As another blogger has commented - what expert? Maybe its the same expert that said the GAG machine would definitely work - or the expert who said the Robots would definitely work or maybe the expert who said the mine was unsafe to enter immediately after the first explosion? Hello!! None of these so-called "experts" have been right yet so they just don't have any credibility JK! The only "expert" that has continually claimed he can make the mine safe for a recovery is Mark Cummins from the US and no official from NZ has ever contacted him about this claim! So JK show your son what it really means to "step up to the plate!" JK -grow some balls, do some homework and support a recovery by Mines Rescue but invite Mark Cummins to assist to reduce the risk! Nothing ventured nothing gained!
9/10/2012 9:14:27 p.m.
Just Me wrote:
My apologies in advance to the families of the miners for what I am about to say.John Key had absolutely no intention on keeping to his political 'promise' in November to December 2010 to bring out the remains/bodies of the Pike River 29.
The 29 miners lost their political usefulness in voting when they were killed in the mine.Just this government had to keep the families on tender-hooks to well after the November 2011 election before breaking their 'promise'.
The 29 miners were just a political tool which had to be taken advantage of by a government more interested in staying in power than the NZ voters once the votes had been counted.
Not just a community lost 29 much loved ones.The country lost 29 people who had a right to living and a decent burial when it was their time.
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