Plan to re-enter Pike River mine announced

This announcement is just being made:

Stuff:  ‘We’re going in’ – Government unveils decision to re-enter Pike River Mine

The Government has given the all-clear to re-enter Pike River Mine, to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men who died there in 2010.

While a number of dangers still remained, Little said extensive advice had shown re-entry using the existing access tunnel of the mine would be “by far the safest option”.

Little said it would be an “extraordinarily complex” undertaking, but the process to make it safe had been robust.

“Safety has been our paramount concern throughout this planning process, and supported wholeheartedly by the Pike River families”.

The operation also had the support of the police.

“With their support and advice the drift tunnel will be thoroughly examined through to the roof fall area.”

Work to prepare the mine was already underway. That included venting methane from the mine, pumping nitrogen into the mine, and filling the drift with fresh air.

Additional boreholes would have to be drilled, and that work would get under way immediately, said Little.

“The advice I have received indicates that it is likely to be round February before the re-entry proper gets underway, by breaching the 30m seal.”

I understand that this is a big deal for some of the families of miners who were killed.

But I really wonder whether this is a sensible thing to do. And I wonder what will be achieved, apart from perhaps the removal of some or all remains.

 

Leave a comment

67 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  November 14, 2018

    ”But I really wonder whether this is a sensible thing to do. And I wonder what will be achieved, apart from perhaps the removal of some or all remains.”

    Closure for those families who wanted a reentry. A slap in the face for National should bodies be found. And closure in a larger sense…the mined can be sealed. Pike River can then rest in peace and become part of our history.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 14, 2018

      It’s a massive waste of taxpayers’ money. If there are any remains they will be reburied or re-cremated. My understanding is that not all the families have demanded this. They are long dead in a sad, disastrous, mine that was poorly managed and overseen by everybody from the DoL to Management to the miners themselves. I don’t want to sound cruel but I think the fixation some families have had on re-entering this tomb – in some ways a fitting one perhaps – only to put anything that’s left – which is NOT their men – straight back into some other cold, dark ground, I think is not only foolish but in some cases probably provoked by anger at the universe.

      All that said – Labour & Andy Little have their reputation & integrity riding on this one, and having gone this far, I won’t be objecting any further to re-entering the mine. I look forward to Winston being the first one in, as he said, and I expect it will reopen more old wounds than it will heal. 😦

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  November 14, 2018

        Well said. I think most NZer’s think this way. If costs and delays rise then Labour will have a job to justify this nonsense to the taxpayer. Even if they bring the men out and immediately rebury them, a lot of people are going to ask, wtf?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 14, 2018

          ”Closure is the end or the closing down of something. It can be physical — like the closure of your local library — or emotional, like the closure you experience when you finally come to terms with the end of a romance. Closure comes from the Latin claus (“shut”), and it has many different shades of meaning.”

          The problem is, Arty..you don’t have emotional capital invested in this situation. Therefore it’s very easy to make a dispassionate judgement call.

          While your comments make absolute sense, my opinion is shaped from the emotional perspective.

          Personally, I doubt any bodies will be found.

          Reply
  2. robertguyton

     /  November 14, 2018

    Well said, Corky.

    Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  November 14, 2018

    Labor doing the right thing that National didn’t want to spend money on

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  November 14, 2018

      Anyone want a new flag before i run away to the ANZ chair

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  November 14, 2018

        Labour wanted a new flag…until National proposed it. Then they didn’t any more and worked hard to taint the process:

        Sep 03 2014

        “Labour would also review the design of the New Zealand flag, with the party saying “the time has come for a change and it is right for the issue to be put to the public”.

        “We would however support the ability of the RSA and similar organisations to continue to fly the current flag if they so wish. New Zealand changed its national anthem from ‘God Save the Queen’ on a gradual, optional basis and that process worked,” the policy statement says.

        Prime Minister John Key has also already announced a referendum would be held on the flag in the next parliamentary term, saying it was his personal preference to see it changed.”

        Andrew Little during the leadership challenge when asked about a /flag change:

        #17 by John Parker 9 months ago
        Should NZ change its flag:

        What’s your personal opinion?

        Should there be a referendum?

        If you want the flag changed, what’s your favourite design?

        by Andrew Little 9 months ago in reply to John Parker
        Yes, my personal opinion is we should have something more relevant to an independent, small Asia/Pacific nation. I think a referendum is a suitable way to deal with an issue that can be very polarising. I don’t like the idea of the silver fern on a black background. The elements I would like to see in a flag are the Southern Cross, blue for the sea, green for the land and mountains, and a reference to our Maori heritage.

        Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 14, 2018

    Cost?

    Reply
    • Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 14, 2018

        More than a million for each miner…

        Patrick Gower says that it will be easy to walk in, no breathing apparatus needed. After you, Patrick.

        Reply
  5. robertguyton

     /  November 14, 2018

    Andrew Little will be a hero. John Key will be despised.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 14, 2018

      Andy Little I suspect will be a hero to a tiny few and a gutless fool to most.

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  November 14, 2018

        The tiny few that forgot that the Andrew Little led EMPU fully sanctioned the safety of the mine.

        How they can trust a man that said the mine was safe is beyond me.

        Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  November 14, 2018

        8 more years Gezza, bitterness can cause health issues

        Reply
  6. Trevors_elbow

     /  November 14, 2018

    Let’s hope there is not another booooom….. because that’s the biggest risk….

    Reply
  7. alloytoo

     /  November 14, 2018

    Waste of money, I just hope nothing goes horrible wrong.

    Reply
  8. david in aus

     /  November 14, 2018

    Volunteers only, no one should be forced into that mine. Didn’t Winston offer to be the first in?
    We should never send anyone to do tasks that we are not prepared to do ourselves.

    Reply
  9. David

     /  November 14, 2018

    What a waste of money, I hope this like everything else this government does ends in a huge disaster, a non injury one, with endless problems and delays and disappointments and Bernie Monk looses it completely.

    Reply
  10. robertguyton

     /  November 14, 2018

    Quite a few Eeyores and Sad Sacks here on Your NZ this morning.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 14, 2018

      Apart from yourself – who else were you thinking of ? 😳

      Reply
    • Trevors_elbow

       /  November 14, 2018

      You sir are full conversant in eyeore… you demonstrate that facility very day with trolling and threadjacking

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  November 14, 2018

        This isn’t Kiwiblog where the nastiest comment get you the most upticks, Farrars blog is the go to blog for NAZIS,and racist rightwingers…go and read i will provide copies

        Reply
        • Gerrit

           /  November 14, 2018

          Not nice to call the owner and author of this blog a nazi (in capitals no less).

          Noticed a Pete George posting on there not so long ago.

          Did you not get the kindness memo from Ardern?

          Reply
        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  November 14, 2018

          You are not the arbiter of content on this site. You run around and spray people all the time sunshine….. clean yourself up before start the normal leftie bs of anyone who differs in opinion from you is a Nazi….

          I think Robert is more than capable of looking after himself Lurch, your interceding is not required…

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 14, 2018

          Take your lumps and move on, Lurchy. Be kind and don’t troll. Pass that on to Kitty if you have time. 😄

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 14, 2018

            Here we go again….anyone who disagrees with Corks is a troll.

            Disagreeing with Cork is de facto trolling….Corks contradicting rudely, witlessly and inaccurately isn’t, in his mind. Nor is making personal insults.

            Reply
          • lurcher1948

             /  November 14, 2018

            YAWN

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  November 14, 2018

              I don’t blame you, Lurchy. It’s the usual story from Kitty trying to deflect from her vacuous incorrect assumptions about me.

              There are many who have disagreed with me today. I don’t see me being rude and making personal insults..or calling them trolls. Apart from you and Kitty, which I think is justified.

  11. robertguyton

     /  November 14, 2018

    “The Minister responsible for Pike River, Andrew Little, has announced that there will be a manned re-entry to the mine early next year.

    This is a very welcome step and is the culmination of an 8 year battle to get truth and justice for the 29 dead miners.

    It’s fitting that it is Andrew Little who has the final say; as the former head of the miners union, the EPMU (now E Tu), Little stood with the bereaved from day one. Unlike former Prime Minister John Key, who lied to the families about re-entry, fought to have union members’ voices shut out of the memorial service, and whose natural instinct was to side with the owners, Little has been a battler for the battlers.”

    No Eeyoring from the Left!

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  November 14, 2018

      Is this the same Little that headed a union that said the mine was safe before the explosions?

      “EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said he was not aware of any safety concerns at the site.”

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10689068

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  November 14, 2018

        Get Sir Key to enter,opps to busy making money for Australia and HIMSELF

        Reply
    • Strong For Life

       /  November 14, 2018

      Will Mr Little back his words with action and enter the mine first as he promised to do before the election?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  November 14, 2018

        Was that Andy, or Winston?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 14, 2018

          It will be literally manning; men will be called upon to do this, not women.

          I wonder how Auntie Winnie will get out of it.

          The wishes of the families who are opposed to it have been ignored as if they don’t matter at all.

          Reply
  12. Gerrit

     /  November 14, 2018

    Reality is they will only enter the drift and recover the robots left in there from previous failed attempts.

    Token gesture at best as the miners were in the mine proper and that is sealed by a massive rock fall at the end of the drift.

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  November 14, 2018

      You’re right Gerrit – the wording is very careful, and it seems all these millions are only to enter the drift, where none of the miners are expected to actually be found.
      The main workings of the mine remain exponentially harder to access and are off the table at this stage. The likelihood of retrieval of bodies is as remote as ever.
      Unless I am missing something – and that is quite possible as I am no expert on mining – this appears to be nothing more than a sop to the families with little likelihood of any actual closure.

      Reply
      • adamsmith1922

         /  November 14, 2018

        Waste of time and money

        Reply
      • PDB

         /  November 14, 2018

        Yep – only confirmed they are entering the drift which is pretty pointless in terms of finding remains of any of the bodies. Even then Little has said a lot of ‘mights’, ‘maybes’ and ‘coulds’ that give him plenty of outs along the way if things begin to look dicey.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 14, 2018

          If that was my husband or brother or son, I’d far, far rather that the money went to the living. There are untold causes that could use this money. Imagine St John’s delight if they were offered a few million.

          Reply
          • Gerrit

             /  November 14, 2018

            Would the money not have been better spent at at Buller Hospital. Complete with a remembrance shrine to the miners?

            Hospital is in desperate need of a rebuild valued at $20M

            Spnet the $30M on health service on the West Coast would have been a better option for the money being spent on a partial mine entry.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/107244698/westport-still-waiting-for-promised-new-20m-hospital

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 14, 2018

              I hadn’t heard that (about the Buller Hospital)

              Yes, that would have been a wonderful memorial The ten could go to family accommodation or something like that.

              Wouldn’t you rather that it was spent that way? I would.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 14, 2018

              I wouldn’t be surprised if those who are selfishly insisting on spending another $36,000,000 on the mine are rather unpopular in the area.

  13. George

     /  November 14, 2018

    There is no talk of going further than the drift. Any bodies will be at or near the faces.
    And I doubt the [use proper names for MPs please – PG] will be the first in

    Reply
  14. Zedd

     /  November 14, 2018

    good onya Mr Little/new Govt.

    the families have been waiting too long for this news.. that previous Govt. seemed willing to just bury & forget ? 😦

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  November 14, 2018

      The National govt was not willing to put anybody else’s life at risk in an operation that is most likely to come up with nothing and had international mining experts to back their view.

      This govt is prepared to risk people’s lives & break the very H&S regulations created in the aftermath of the disaster for a probably ‘no result’ based on some other expert opinions. Even then they have only confirmed to be entering the mine drift and no further.

      Reply
  15. I don’t wish to sound insensitive but I do not understand the use of the word “closure” here. I have always believed it to refer to a situation in which a loved one has gone missing and those who loved them have no idea what happened to them. Which is not the case at Pike River.

    I fear this is just political point-scoring which is likely, as Gezza noted, to “reopen more old wounds than it will heal”. It may even kill more people. It seems extremely unlikely to retrieve any bodies; and the claim that it might uncover what caused the explosion is a very thin argument given that there seems no question that a dangerous build-up of methane gas, that should never have been allowed to develop, was ignited by something. Some might think that the cause was the explosive gases rather than what ignited them.

    Let the miners Rest in Peace, I say.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  November 14, 2018

      I agree. Give the money to the living. Make scholarships in the miners’ names. Give it to St John Ambulance. Make life easier for the families.

      Reply
  16. Pink David

     /  November 14, 2018

    Quality reporting from The Guardian, apparently, all 29 bodies will actually be recovered…..

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/13/pike-river-mine-disaster-bodies-of-29-dead-will-be-recovered

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  November 14, 2018

      Labour party stooge Eleanor Ainge Roy of Dunedin must be laughing all the way to the bank by getting paid to pen the dross she writes for the Guardian.

      Wasn’t that long ago she announced that Ardern was going to house all the homeless before winter in only 4 weeks when in reality we had the worst homeless rate on record for that period.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  November 14, 2018

        “Labour party stooge Eleanor Ainge Roy of Dunedin must be laughing all the way to the bank by getting paid to pen the dross she writes for the Guardian.”

        Given the Guardian loses tens of millions per year, I doubt she is getting paid very much, so the fact all she does is reheat Labour press releases isn’t surprising.

        Reply
  17. lurcher1948

     /  November 14, 2018

    If Max Key was a miner and not the rich prince where ever daddy lives,Daddy Sir Key would have moved earth and spent our money to find Max OR MAYBE NOT..would it affect Nationals bottom line

    Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  November 14, 2018

      The same could be said of anyone personally involved with these situations – why you single out John Key is pretty strange

      Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 14, 2018

      “If Max key was a miner….”
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
      Oh dear!
      A miner! – Max!!!

      Reply
  18. lurcher1948

     /  November 14, 2018

    There must be something out there to cheer up the sourpuss righties here,I know our lovely PM Jacinda Adern could announce shes pregnant with a new child,that would/should bring smiles all around or maybe not.

    Reply

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