Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern backs Pike River Mine families over re-entry plan
The “symbolic” re-entry to the Pike River Mine drift is something best left to the families of the men who were killed there, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
A renewed attempt to re-enter the Pike River mine will occur today.
Pike River Recovery Agency chief executive Dave Gawn said the agency had completed preparations for re-entry, including cutting through the concrete seal and providing ventilation.
“Assuming favourable weather conditions and no other last-minute issues arising, the agency will re-enter the Pike River Mine drift today,” Gawn said in a statement.
“At the request of families, it will be low-key and private for families to witness the opening of the double airlock doors and the re-entry team stepping through.”
The re-entry is a long-awaited goal for the families of the 29 men who died following the 2010 explosions in the West Coast mine.
Sonya Rockhouse, whose 21-year-old son Ben was killed, said the families had thought it would be nice if the event was for them only given how long they had been in the media spotlight, she said.
A well-publicised re-entry attempt was planned for May 3 but called off by the Pike River Recovery Agency the day before for safety reasons.
Ardern, who visited the families ahead of the May 3 attempt, said the decision was made then that any future attempt should be left to them.
“It is really a symbolic moment. Re-entry to the drift is going to take a number of weeks and months. It’s a progressive piece of work as they move beyond, of course, the barrier created by the concrete which will be removed as I understand it in the coming days,” she said today.
So once again we are given another load of bullshit. It’s a symbolic entry only. $43 million says we all deserve to be there if we want to be.
Winston where are you?