Pike River report released today

THE long awaited royal commission report into the Pike River disaster – to be released today – will contain 16 key recommendations that will be acted upon immediately to avoid a repeat of the tragedy which claimed 29 lives, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said.
Pike River report released today Pike River report released today Pike River report released today Pike River report released today Pike River report released today

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

Lou Caruana

Key told TVNZ that the report on the 2010 accident was "sobering" as families of the trapped miners still seek ways to retrieve their bodies from the mine.

"We think that is the right thing to do both in terms of the recommendations and to honour those 29 men," Key reportedly said.

The Pike River Royal Commission presented its report to the New Zealand governor-general, Lt Gen Sir Jerry Mateparae, last week.

The commission’s brief was to report on what happened at the Pike River mining disaster and what should be done to prevent future tragedies.

Commission chairman Graham Panckhurst said the public release of the report was a matter for the government and the commission would not be making any public comment.

By delivering its report, the commission had completed its work, he said.

Family representative Bernie Monk told TV ONE's Q+A program the local community believed the mine could be re-entered and the bodies retrieved despite a decision by the government this would not be safe.

"We know, the Coasters know, the people with the experience here know it can be done,” he reportedly said.

"Let's face it, the (government experts) haven't got one shot of doing anything. They've just walked away from the whole situation."

The families are reportedly seeking advice from international mining experts over a detailed plan to re-enter the mine to locate the mine's drift and remains of the miners.

Last week Valley Longwall International Drilling was fined $NZ46,800 in New Zealand’s Greymouth District Court over three charges relating to a breakdown in safety and maintenance procedures of underground equipment used in the Pike River mine.

The fine is well short of the maximum $250,000. Judge Jane Farish found the only link between the admitted offences and the 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 miners was that the explosions were the catalyst for a detailed analysis and investigation of procedures at the mine.

It was that process which led to the charges.

Former Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall pleaded not guilty to failures of methane explosion management, ventilation management, strata management, and mitigating the risk and impact of an explosion.

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