Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Keeping a promise

After the Pike River disaster, then-Prime Minister John Key gave the victims' families an "absolute reassurance" that their loved ones bodies would be recovered. He lied, and left them to rot. Now, Labour is keeping his promise:

The Minister responsible for Pike River re-entry has this morning announced that a plan to re-enter the mine drift to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men who died there in 2010 will proceed.

Andrew Little made the announcement at Parliament, in front of a number of the families of the Pike 29.

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

He said he decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, was by far the safest option.

Good. Because this isn't just a sentimental matter of recovering remains. Pike River is also a crime scene, and re-entry may help the police gather the evidence required to hold those responsible to account. They've already bribed their way out of trouble once - actions later found by the Supreme Court to be "an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution". Hopefully they won't be able to do that again.