An apology is not enough | The Jackal

11 Apr 2013

An apology is not enough

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Upset families of the 29 men killed at Pike River "cannot accept" findings of a report that absolves government employees of any blame for the 2010 tragedy.

Despite "systemic failures" and "inactions" that contributed to the Pike River Mine disaster, no one at the old Department of Labour or Ministry of Economic Development will be held accountable, families of the workers were told last night.

The report was highly critical of both departments and prompted an apology to the families - but their spokesman, Bernie Monk, called it hollow and said there should be accountability.

If there were systemic failures at the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Economic Development that has led to the deaths of 29 people, somebody should be held to account and prosecuted in accordance with the law.

The families were also shown footage from a camera put down the mine last Friday, and told a report would be presented to the mine's owners, Solid Energy, by the end of next month addressing how the bodies might be recovered.

Clearly recovery needs to occur to give the families closure.

It's been two and a half years since the Pike River mining disaster occurred, which in my opinion is more than enough time to have recovered the 29 miners. That's two and a half years since there's been any explosion at the mine, which makes me wonder if there are other reasons apart from safety for not going back into Pike River?

Waiting around for yet another report is simply wasting more time.

But what really gets my goat about all this is that the recovery of the 2degrees chief executive and his wife, Eric and Kathy Hertz, after they crashed their Beechcraft Baron aircraft into the Tasman sea happened over night. That was also a dangerous undertaking at the taxpayers’ considerable expense.

I wouldn't like to think that there’s one rule for the rich businessman and another for the poor worker even in death... But by all appearances, that seems to be the case.