Opposition responses on Pike River

Labour: Why has Pike footage been hidden for so long?

Why has Pike footage been hidden for so long?

New footage of workers servicing a robot in the Pike River drift appears to show that going into the drift doesn’t pose the danger the Government and Solid Energy claimed, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“The Government must immediately release all Pike footage and images, and explain why it has kept the public and the families in the dark for so long.

“This new footage casts doubt over the Government’s reasons for blocking a manned re-entry of the drift.

“The sight of men moving confidently inside the drift with only breathing masks on suggests this isn’t the excessively dangerous situation National and Solid Energy portray it as. National claims sending people into the drift would unduly risk their lives. Yet, here is film of two men calmly working in the drift, taking their time to make an ad hoc water cover for a robot.

“The robot footage shows the drift is in good shape, with even the pipes largely undamaged by the explosions. There’s nothing in the footage to support National’s claim the drift could collapse.

“The fact that the robot overheats and emits smoke yet no explosion is triggered makes a lie of Nick Smith’s claim that the 98% methane atmosphere in the drift is highly flammable. In fact, as the scientifically literate Nick Smith surely knows, methane cannot explode in a nearly pure methane atmosphere with little oxygen.

“It is disturbing that such important footage, which undercuts the Government’s reasons for stopping a re-entry into Pike, has been kept from the public eye for so long.

 “Why haven’t the families or the public seen this footage before now? For years, the families have been calling for all footage and pictures taken inside Pike River since the explosion to be released. Yet, the Government still hasn’t released that material, and we have to rely on leaks to find out the truth.

“We know, from written questions, that the Government holds 24,000 images and 265GB of footage related to Pike River. The inevitable question, now, is: what other important material is the Government keeping hidden? The families and the public deserve to be able to see it all,” says Andrew Little.

Greens: Smith and National must answer to the Pike River families

Nick Smith and National must answer to the Pike River families

Newly released footage from inside Pike River raises extremely serious questions about the Government’s assertion that it’s not safe to renter the mine, and about what other evidence may have been withheld.

“It simply beggars belief that the Police Commissioner or the Minister never saw this footage”, said Denise Roche, Green Party Spokesperson for Workplace Relations and Safety.

“Especially as Nick Smith has confirmed he knew about this video – and that he never bothered to watch it. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about him,” said Denise Roche.

“The Pike River Families and all New Zealanders deserve to see not just this film, but all evidence that may have been withheld.

“Nick Smith says the Government will consider this footage but quite clearly the only reason he is doing this is because he has been embarrassed. He needs to commit to reviewing not just this video, but all evidence, and to releasing that so the public can make their own judgment.”

“And that has to include evidence from the experts the Pike River families have been working with to create a plan for safe entry and exploration of the mines’ drift.”

NZ First: Huge Cover-up Over Pike River Mine Re-Entry

There is no doubt that there has been a huge cover up by authorities after the Pike River explosion that killed 29 men, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Newshub has revealed tonight that video footage exists of a robot and two searchers in the Pike River tunnel months after the fatal explosion. That video footage has been kept secret and never been shown to the families of the victims.

“According to Newshub, it belongs to the police and has been seen by Solid Energy and was ‘used by Solid Energy as part of its extensive investigation into whether the mine was safe to enter’.

“However, this information was apparently not shown to the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry nor presented by Solid Energy when they appeared before a parliamentary select committee.

“All along the police and the government have maintained it was not safe for anyone to enter the tunnel.

“This evidence proves otherwise.

“Who the searchers were has never been revealed but the government has allowed a massive cover-up to take place and all those responsible for that should be brought to account.

“The fact is this evidence proves that it is safe for a search party to go in,” says Mr Peters.

Leave a comment


  1. Kabull

     /  1st May 2017

    Sharp-eyed commentator on another blog calls out TV3 for misleading us (again):

    “Incredibly dishonest stuff in the 3 News (or whatever they call themselves today) report.
    It shows the engineers working on the robot some time after the robot moved a significant distance up the drift.
    But if you look at the time-stamp, the engineers were working on the robots right at the start of the footage.
    3 News showed this out of chronological sequence. The only reason is that they sought to misrepresent how far the engineers went into the drift.”

    So nobody ‘went into the drift’ in the sense TV3 wants us to believe. The work on the robot was being done in the drift entrance, not 1500m further in.

    I do wish the MSM would stop trying to have us believe there was deliberate obstruction/obfuscation/lying — and so on by Police, Solid Energy, Pike River and Ministers. Thats just sheer nonsense.

    • John Schmidt

       /  1st May 2017

      Reminds me of a scene in The Simpsons when Homer is being interviewed on TV to explain an apparent molestation he did when trying to recover a lolly. In the background is a clock with the hands moving back and forwards as the interview is edited to misrepresent what Homer was saying.
      Shame on you TV3 yet again for misrepresenting yet another situation for your own ends.

  2. Gezza

     /  1st May 2017

    Well, they’re largely right, imo. And these reactions were certainly predictable. How can the public be expected to simply accept the government’s assessment of the situation – which may be perfectly correct & I suspect probably is – when some relevant & available information is withheld? The debate should be capable of being won on the expert scientific merits with everybody knowing what the situation was back when this footage was obtained, & why things have changed..

    This apparent culture of withholding release of information that is relevant to important accident investigations by New Zealand governments needs to be rigourously challenged, imo.

  3. While I do tend to support the closing paragraph Gezza, I also know some times information about an accident is withheld by say Coroners for good reason and we should respect their judgement. Otherwise its a tossup between “Fake News” by TV3 or “A litany of lies” by the establishment. The deceased have their monument, let them lie where they fell.

  4. Patu

     /  1st May 2017

    @G I agree completely with everything you said above. Imho, the most relevant question is why now? What has changed?

  5. Corky

     /  1st May 2017

    I tried to warn PM Billy English, but I guess he doesn’t puruse Your New Zealand. More the pity. Right up to election day it will be…PIKE RIVER PIKE RIVERPIKE RIVER.

    All this could conversely have been an election gold mine with a statue of Billy being erected on the Westcoast.

  6. Patu

     /  1st May 2017

    Why has this been released now, seven years later? Hmmm… Is there a statute of limitations in NZ?

    • High Flying Duck

       /  1st May 2017

      It wasn’t ‘released’ – it was leaked. And if there was anything nefarious leading to deaths the statute of limitations does not apply.

      • patupaiarehe

         /  1st May 2017

        Well that depends on the alleged offence HFD. (And just in case you were wondering, the ‘Patu’ above is me, logging in on my phone isn’t worth the effort)

  7. David

     /  1st May 2017

    Pike River might not have been much of a coal mine, but it’s turned into something of a gold mine for opposition politicians desperate to dig to the center of the earth for political mileage.

  8. David

     /  1st May 2017

    I just dont bloody care about this anymore and I dont think the opposition are doing themselves any favours either. I had the misfortune of accidently watching Hilary Barry try and rip into English over some cover up and when it was clear there was nothing he had done wrong she only carried screeching for further 5 minutes and she looked like a bloody idiot.
    Its old footage spliced together by TV3 to deliberately deceive their audience, nice work news guys, nice work.

  9. George

     /  1st May 2017

    If TV3 think its so safe up the drift send them in. Their deaths might serve as a lesson to the snowflakes

  10. I do not understand why there is still people wanting to disturb the resting place of their dead relatives of friends. if they believe something sinister has happened that needs to be exposed, then they should make their claims public. The relatives have already received adequate compensation,. and it is not sufficient that they want to extract revenge on someone or some organisation for what happened. I find the propensity of some sections of society and the media to highlight suggestions of conspiracy or reprehensible behaviour by officials/politicians to be a knee-jerk reaction lacking rationality or commonsense. Time to move on until the next significant Anniversary date when the bereaved can visit their monument and demand the changes needed to make sure the chances of it happening again are minimised. No further lives should be put at risk by reentry. The atmosphere is 100% methane as reported by the MSM.

  11. In relation to Andrew Little’s claims of a possible coverup, flies in the face of the facts. The news about the robots going into the tunnel was news at the time, as was the use of nitrogen to expel the methane. The shots of the mine rescue engineers preparing the robots was in the container (that was also in the news earlier) and they ventured no more than two metres into the nitrogen atmosphere as shown in the shot. The whole thing smells of a rotten fake news item to capitalise on the fixed prejudices of the West Coasters against the Government, it reminds me of the sort of dumb fake news used by the Democrats in the US. Maybe there is some truth in the rumours of Democrat advisers working with Labour for the election?


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