The Labour Party government aims to prevent the thorough examination of underground evidence that could be used to prosecute corporate criminals responsible for the deaths of 29 men in the 2010 Pike River disaster.
On November 19, 2010, the first in a series of explosions rocked the underground Pike River coal mine in New Zealand. After a second explosion five days later, the 29 men underground were declared dead. Despite overwhelming evidence that Pike River Coal’s management cut costs and endangered workers’ lives, no one has been brought to justice for the actions that turned the mine into a death trap.
The state regulatory agency, the Department of Labour (now called WorkSafe), and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (now called E tu) both bear responsibility for the disaster. They knew about the company’s flagrant safety breaches, but did nothing to shut down the mine.
For more than a decade, police, government agencies and the judicial system have done everything to shield the company’s directors and managers from prosecution.
The 2008-2017 National Party government and the Labour Party-led government formed in 2017 have repeatedly reneged on promises to properly investigate the mine and recover bodies. In March 2021, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour government announced it would no longer fund an underground investigation to go deeper into the mine, beyond a roof-fall, where there is likely to be crucial evidence that could be used in prosecutions.
The World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Group in New Zealand are supporting the fight by the Pike River Families Committee, representing the majority of the victims’ families, for a full and thorough underground investigation, to uncover the truth about what led to the 29 deaths.
The World Socialist Web Site is publishing statements from readers throughout the world in support of the families of those who died in the 2010 Pike River mine disaster, who are fighting to uncover the truth about the cause of the disaster and for those responsible brought to justice.
The television documentary sets out to justify the government’s decision to abandon the underground investigation of the 2010 Pike River mine disaster, which killed 29 people, and for which no one has been held accountable.
The media has blacked out the widespread opposition to the New Zealand Labour Party government’s decision to seal Pike River mine that prevents a thorough investigation and accountability for the deaths of 29 men in the 2010 disaster.
The WSWS is reprinting a letter sent by UK mines rescue expert Brian Robinson to the New Zealand government’s Pike River Recovery Agency, calling for it to continue the underground investigation of the 2010 Pike River mine disaster.
The global wave of miners strikes and the case for the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees
From the nickel mines of Northern Ontario and the coalfields of Alabama to the Atacama desert in Chile and the jungles of Colombia, miners of every race and nationality are engaged in an international strike wave against the world’s most powerful transnational mining corporations.
The Queensland Labor government gave Anglo American the go ahead to recommence production before even releasing the final report into the gas blast that left five workers seriously injured.
The company’s strikebreaking activity has been facilitated at every turn by the United Mine Workers, which has left the miners isolated and totally vulnerable to physical attacks and the company’s efforts to defeat the strike.
The state-orchestrated defeat of the year-long 1984-5 strike paved the way for the privatisation of the pension scheme. The defeat saw the mass closures of pits, the end of the UK mining industry, and the widespread impoverishment of mining communities.