Not all Pike river families approve of re-entry

‘Pike River families’ has often been put forward as one unified group wanting re-entry to the mine and recovery of the bodies, but at least one family opposes the re-entry plan, calling it disgraceful.

Recent news reports refer to the families collectively:

Andrew Little on Pike River: ‘Re-entry is about fulfilling a promise to the families’

“Re-entry of the Pike River Mine will proceed. To the Pike River families, to New Zealand, we are returning.”

Pike River relatives on mine re-entry: It’s a ‘truly amazing day for our families’

Friends and family of the 29 men killed in the Pike River Mine disaster say an agreed plan to re-enter the mine is a historic moment of truth and justice.

Sonya Rockhouse, who lost her son Ben in the disaster, told Morning Report the change of government had made a huge difference to the families’ campaign and the previous National government had failed them, she said.

Bernie Monk, who also lost a loved one, said it was a proud day for all Kiwis.

Anna Osborne said it was a historic moment for truth and justice and that the announcement was a “truly amazing day for our families”.

“We fought really hard for our men for a really long time and today, this is a victory for our families,” she said.

“This is a victory for the little people of New Zealand.

Pike River Recovery Agency (Government website): Family Reference Group

The Pike River Recovery Agency works in partnership with the Family Reference Group, who represent the overwhelming majority of the Pike River families.  Here they introduce who they are:

‘Stand With Pike’, the families of more than 80% of Pike victims, have fought hard for answers as to why this happened or, more to the point, why no-one intervened to stop it.

24 of 29 is 82%, so that means up to five of the families are not represented.

And one of those five has spoken up – Mother of Pike River victim: Re-entry plan ‘disgraceful’ (RNZ):

Christchurch mother Marion Curtin says she was left sitting by her phone feeling raw after the announcement of the Pike River Mine re-entry yesterday.

Her son, Richard Holling, never came home after the November 2010 tragedy, but she wanted it to stay that way.

Some people might assume that all 29 affected families considered yesterday’s news as a “victory,” she said, but she was one of the silent many who disagreed.

She said the plan was an “appalling” waste of $36 million.

“I’m just so disappointed. I couldn’t believe that cabinet would sign this off,” she said.

Especially given the lack of certainty, she said, with nobody able to tell her exactly what the mine recovery experts would be looking for.

“I see it as sacrilege, really. To go in fossicking around for remains… to go in just to see what they find – I think it’s just disgraceful,” she said.

Ms Curtin loathed the fact it had become so political. She said the months leading up to last year’s election were especially challenging.

“Some people liked that… the politicians climbing on board. I certainly didn’t. That was my son’s death they were playing with.” she said.

While yesterday’s news had been extolled as a “huge victory” and a relief for the people in Greymouth, Ms Curtin did not feel this way and refuted the idea that she was in the minority.

Different people have different ways of dealing with grief. I’m not sure that that is well enough recognised by the recovery agency and the politicians promoting re-entry.

Following the loss of her son, Ms Curtin said said she had just been trying to get on with her own life.

“I remember Richard with love every day. But for me a good day is when I don’t hear Pike River mentioned. I don’t dwell on Pike River.”

Repeatedly bringing the tragedy up in the news can be hard for some people.

And if the re-entry ever gets to the stage of finding bodies, can they respect the wishes of some families, any families, who don’t want ‘fossicking around for remains’?

 

Leave a comment

23 Comments

  1. alloytoo

     /  November 16, 2018

    The more I hear about this the more I’m convinced that this week’s announcement is:

    a) A Squirrel to distract from ILG etc.
    b) Is going to discover nothing new.
    c) Is not going to recover bodies, nor lead to closure for anyone.

    Reply
  2. Pink David

     /  November 16, 2018

    “And if the re-entry ever gets to the stage of finding bodies”

    Why do people keep repeating this meme? There is no plan to recover any bodies. They are simply going to stick their heads inside the mine, say there is nothing their, and close the door behind them.

    Reply
  3. robertguyton

     /  November 16, 2018

    Of course not every one agrees on any issue. That’s natural for people. I find Pete’s use of “‘fossicking around for remains’” offensive and unnecessarily provocative. Poor taste, Pete.

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  November 16, 2018

      That was a comment from the mother of one of the victims. Is she offensive and unnecessary Robert?

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  November 16, 2018

        I didn’t criticise her for using the words, HFD, I criticised Pete for repeating them gratuitously and without attribution.

        Reply
        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  November 16, 2018

          ……you strike again Robert… spinning like a top.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  November 16, 2018

            Telling the truth, Trevors_Elbow. Is it so hard to recognise?

            Reply
            • Trevors_elbow

               /  November 16, 2018

              Nah, you’re attributing a quote to the author and of course demonstrating all the tact of a Donkey as usual….

        • High Flying Duck

           /  November 16, 2018

          He put the full quote, attributed and in context in a posted article within the post and then at the end, he put quotes around it and said it was the wishes of some of the families. Your post was poor and unnecessarily pathetic.

          Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  November 16, 2018

      Best find a safe space Robert. Micro aggression can be so…disturbing for the snowflake.

      /sarc

      Reply
    • David

       /  November 16, 2018

      You are an awful man Guyton, how could you attack the words used by a grieving mother.

      Reply
      • Maggy Wassilieff

         /  November 16, 2018

        Perhaps Robert Guyton doesn’t understand the conventions of using indented text, italics and placing quoted material inside quotation marks.

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  November 16, 2018

          Pete regularly asks for attribution whenever quotes are used. David, you are wrong in your claim.

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  November 16, 2018

            No – you are Robert.

            From the article in the post:

            “Christchurch mother Marion Curtin says she was left sitting by her phone feeling raw after the announcement of the Pike River Mine re-entry yesterday…
            “I see it as sacrilege, really. To go in fossicking around for remains… to go in just to see what they find – I think it’s just disgraceful,” she said.

            And then at the end of post her words, in quotes, are used again. They had been attributed, so it didn’t need to be done again.

            You are proving Gezza’s assertion that you have comprehension issues. That you are so bravely willing to display this on such a regular basis speaks volumes about your views.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  November 16, 2018

              Pete’s repetition of the phrase then, was unnecessarily gratuitous, given that he’d already used it. And that’s my point. I’ve commented on my comprehension skills above.

            • Maggy Wassilieff

               /  November 16, 2018

              Pete’s repetition of the phrase then, was unnecessarily gratuitous,

              Rubbish.
              P.G. was validating and honouring Marion Curtin’s sentiments by quoting her own words.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 16, 2018

            There’s little point in repeating the name a few lines down; our memories are not that short.

            Reply
  4. David

     /  November 16, 2018

    Not all taxpayers agree either, I would imagine a small minority do.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  November 16, 2018

      I find it really irritating when people justify their words and actions by claiming that they speak or act on behalf of all Kiwis/women/Christians…..

      Reply

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