Years after the Pike River mines disaster, the families of Pike River miners have petitioned the new New Zealand Prime Minister to recover the bodies of their loved ones.
Their spokesperson said “It is simple! They want the bodies of their loved ones recovered” The New Zealand Government says such an operation is not safe.
Solid Energy, the company which owns the mine, wants to block it off with five metres of concrete due safety concerns. But families say this means closing off a crime scene.
Dozens of loved ones of those who died in the disaster have travelled to parliament to meet with Bill English on the issue, who said he is open to meeting with the family members, but doesn’t have time today due to getting settled into his new position.
However, the rest of NZ’s party leaders have met with the families, including leader of the opposition Andrew Little, who has said an independent report would clear up the issue.
‘Do the courtesy to the families of listening to them about what they want’, he said of Mr English.
‘At the very least get an independent expert to look at the various safety reports and make their own determination about whether it’s safe to go in.’
Mr Little also said if the mine was found to be safe, the government should fund the recovery of the bodies.
In Australia, the bodies of miners of several mine disasters have never been recovered including Box Flat and Moura.