Thursday, December 12, 2013


Judge Jane Farish has this morning informed the court all 20 charges against mine manager at the time of the explosions that killed 29 miners and saw two emerge shocked and injured from the access tunnel, were "dropped".

Pike River Coal, its directors and Whittall would allocate the 3.4 million dollars earmarked for the defence to the families of the 29 victims and the two survivors.
Farish said the decision was from "The highest level" and should not be seen as purchasing a favourable outcome.
The chance of a prosecution succeeding were very low.

I assume that is juspeak for the very pertinent fact that to expect the man who was only manager for a few  weeks before the place blewup as the one and only scapegoat was bollocks as far as justice went .
The stupid design parameters put in place to get DOC and the sandal wearers out of the way, the long rising access tunnel to save a few trees and snails, the very limited ventilation shafts, the limited self contained sanctuary areas, the clearly inadequate mine safety protocols, training and supervision, the complete absence of an indication of significant disquiet from the workforce, from a mine that had been operating for some two years after consent was given in 2004.
So how much of the unfolding tragedy was the "FAULT" of the poor bugger who was given the mine managers seat only weeks before the explosion November 24th 2010.

To follow this as an outcome that spares the man who has lost his marriage, his fellow miners, and has left a gaping hole in his CV any further bashing while ignoring all those whose erratic decision making, inane opposition, and failures as workers and under managers who allowed the disaster to develop over many months, just be thankful, an outcome that  allows an additional payment of over a hundred thousand dollars to each of the families of the dead makes much more sense to me.
Blood Money my arse, any money paid as a result of death or serious injury is Blood Money always.

To all those who inadvertantly, deliberately or by ommission of the duty of care contributed to that tragedy, search your souls, all of you had far more opportunity to prevent it than the man who came to Pike as mine manager on October 2nd 2010 just 53 days before it blew.

Graeme Pankhurst grew up in the mining lands of the coast but I was of the opinion that his inquiry did not address sufficiently, alleged ignoring of safety rules, personal discipline, and practices that had a potential to have at least a passing contributary effect to what eventuated.
To all those who are still struggling to cope with the tragedy, just take the offered money and if you choose not to keep it there are many many very worthy and needy charities on offer.

Cease any further moves to make Peter Whittall the focus of your grief. Gordon Ward, all the other managers, foremen, team leaders, the miners and contractors were all in positions of longer standing and influence at Pike River Mine with very few exceptions.

Bernie Monk, please stop eroding the remnant sympathy a very generous and caring nation has for those who are still living with their dark memories.

Good luck and best wishes to Peter Whittall, walk away to whatever life allows you.


Edward the Confessor said...

"The stupid design parameters put in place to get DOC and the sandal wearers out of the way, the long rising access tunnel to save a few trees and snails, the very limited ventilation shafts, the limited self contained sanctuary areas..."

Doesn't really matter to you guys how many times that's exposed as a lie you'll just keep repeating it like some sort of liturgy won't you my loony friends? Why are right-wingers so breath-takingly mendacious? A lack of ideas, stupidity or evil?

Anonymous said...

Surely its time to ban this communist.

The facts are in the public domain for all to see. Had Pike River proceeded as an open cast mine, no-one would have died.

But Hellen Klark, personally, and her minister of conservation, Chris Cater, personally, pushed Pike into the long drift mine design.

If NZ was a democracy, Klark and Carter would have been shot out of hand long before now. That's what happens after mining disasters in China - the responsible bureaucrats are shot.

If justice had happened in NZ, our mines - all open cast - would be far safer than they are now.

Edward the Confessor said...

More hysterical, shrieking lies, sinner. Whitall himself has said an open cast mine wasn't an option. Keep lying, though, I know you can't help it. You're actually quite useful for an unemployable cretin, as you demonstrate nicely how the far right actually thinks.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, are you still with us Eddie?

Isn't there any commie shi... paradise willing to take him.

We'll all vouch for him ;)

Mrs Danvers

Paulus said...

It would appear that something like $1,080,000 per miner has been paid or allocated to each miner's family, plus the Government's $7,500,000 to try and recover any bodies which after the second blast will probably be nil, if they can get behind the rock wall, which is also unlikely.

The Veteran said...

Let it go Bernie, let it go. Yes it was a tragedy and perhaps a preventable tragedy. But enough is enough.

The list of possible scapegoats is long but, with this decision, it's now time to let it go.

And thank you EtC for your well argued and cogent contribution to the thread ... NOT.