Published: 22 Nov 2018
In November 2010 an explosion at the Pike River Mine in New Zealand tragically killed 29 mineworkers. The mine was hastily sealed leaving the victims interred, and leaving their families in anguish.
It was clear that deregulation of mine safety laws in New Zealand had laid the foundation for the disaster. There followed a Royal Commission, which found that Pike River Coal had run an unsafe mine. It also found that the then NZ Government had failed to provide proper mine safety regulation, having gutted the Mines Inspectorate and abolished the role of Union Check Inspectors.
There was a long campaign by the families to have the mine re-opened in an effort to bring their sons, brothers and husbands home for burial and to determine the cause of death.
Now, 8 years after the disaster, the New Zealand Government has announced plans to re-enter the mine.
New Zealand’s Union representing mineworkers, E tū , has welcomed the decision to proceed with the re-entry of the Pike River mine drift in a bid to uncover the cause of death of the 29 men.