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gzt



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Topic # 205904 1-Dec-2016 22:08
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Once again Pike River mine is in the news.

The workers and their families were utterly failed by a cut price safety regime.

It does not surprise me that the families now feel that avoiding recovery is essentially another cost decision, this time by solid energy. There is also the background of the promise by the prime minister some time ago.

Personally I know next to zero about mining.

Combined, the families and their friends have a lot of experience. If there was really no hope and serious unmanageable danger they would just give it up and accept it.

I'm thinking the families and survivors are probably right on this. I doubt they want to see undue risks taken in the recovery/investigation. It seems they believe it is possible to do it well within safety margins.

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  Reply # 1680958 1-Dec-2016 22:46
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Seal it or let them cover the costs. I don't want to see tax being used to pay for it.





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  Reply # 1680969 1-Dec-2016 22:55
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Not that I want to offend anyone, but I do find it odd that the people concerned want to offer options to the mine owner.

 

The mine owner has made a decision. Not to be unkind, but other people's options are of not the slightest relevance. They won't be the ones charged under health and safety laws etc if the mine collapses during the rescue, for a start.

 

Of course, they could buy the mine and then do as they please.






 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1680975 1-Dec-2016 23:04
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richms:

Seal it or let them cover the costs. I don't want to see tax being used to pay for it.


Although I agree the government was not responsible for the implementation of the safety regime at Pike River, the government of New Zealand was responsible for the inadequate regulatory environment and inspection regime. So I think the government bears some responsibility for the tragic outcome on that day. It is logical the government should pay for recovery.

The prime minister has more or less acknowledged that is the case and has stated cost is not the issue and the government will pay for it and/or substantially contribute.

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  Reply # 1680992 1-Dec-2016 23:50
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I think many people have mixed views. The thing is that once any  government organisation has made a decision, it is very difficult to get them to reverse it. One way is to use the media, like has been happening, and get it in the news enough.  They have got a strong spokes person who is very clear in what he says, and they have done a good job keeping the media engaged. How they have managed that I don't know, maybe it still gets good clicks. 

 

My main reasoning why I don't think it should be sealed, is because it is apparently still a crime scene, so once it is sealed that is apparently lost. Is there a particular reason it has to be sealed?


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  Reply # 1680993 1-Dec-2016 23:53
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gzt:
Although I agree the government was not responsible for the implementation of the safety regime at Pike River, the government of New Zealand was responsible for the inadequate regulatory environment and inspection regime. So I think the government bears some responsibility for the tragic outcome on that day. It is logical the government should pay for recovery.

 

 

 

You could use that same argument for things such as finance company collapses, and the leaky building stuff etc, and all millions / billions people have lost.But many people made significant losses without resolution.

 

 


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  Reply # 1680999 2-Dec-2016 00:39
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mattwnz:

gzt:
Although I agree the government was not responsible for the implementation of the safety regime at Pike River, the government of New Zealand was responsible for the inadequate regulatory environment and inspection regime. So I think the government bears some responsibility for the tragic outcome on that day. It is logical the government should pay for recovery.


 


You could use that same argument for things such as finance company collapses, and the leaky building stuff etc, and all millions / billions people have lost.But many people made significant losses without resolution.


 


People can get wound about about financial loss and I understand there are serious consequences for quality of life in retirement and things like that. Ok. It is not the same as 29 people losing their lives on the same day because they just happened to go to work that day.

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  Reply # 1681000 2-Dec-2016 00:47
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gzt:
People can get wound about about financial loss and I understand there are serious consequences for quality of life in retirement and things like that. Ok. It is not the same as 29 people losing their lives on the same day because they just happened to go to work that day.

 

People did get sick and die from the stress it caused. Also leaky homes did have the potential to cause illness directly with mold etc. I don't know if stats exist for how many people were affected healthwise.

 

It  usually comes down to money though. If you throw enough money at something, you can usually get it done. I mean if man can land on the moon...

 

To be fair, mining is a very high risk job, and mining disasters can happen. I don't know enough about this one to know the ins and outs of what happened to comment more. However it is not exactly a low risk office job. You could say that the people who died in the Christchurch earthquakes, many just went to a low risk job, and ended up in a collapsed building. They are both terrible and tragic disasters, and both IMO should be tax payer funded to retrieve the bodies, if it is safe to do so. It sounds like there are conflicting opinions on whether it is safe or not, or whether it will ever be safe.

 

Why don't they hire an external independent overseas team to come in and see what they can do 'independent peer review'? At least then it will put some closure to all this.


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  Reply # 1681006 2-Dec-2016 07:09
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I feel the families need to say farewell and move on with their life. To that end I feel the mine should be sealed and become an official grave site similar to what was done with sunken warships.

The government should pay for the sealing and erection of a memorial.




Mike
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  Reply # 1681009 2-Dec-2016 07:19
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mattwnz:

 

To be fair, mining is a very high risk job, and mining disasters can happen. I don't know enough about this one to know the ins and outs of what happened to comment more. However it is not exactly a low risk office job. You could say that the people who died in the Christchurch earthquakes, many just went to a low risk job, and ended up in a collapsed building. They are both terrible and tragic disasters, and both IMO should be tax payer funded to retrieve the bodies, if it is safe to do so. It sounds like there are conflicting opinions on whether it is safe or not, or whether it will ever be safe.

 

 

You obviously didn't see the documentary about it on TV last week. This disaster was highly preventable.


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  Reply # 1681015 2-Dec-2016 07:58
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It is a tough one, before I watched the documentary a few weeks ago (highly recommend watching, its on Prime tv website) I was struggling to see where the families were coming from. What manager in their right mind would send in recovery personel and then be at risk of being prosecuted if anything goes wrong. But the documentary did give me a more sympathetic view towards the reasoning the families want the recovery to occur. A large part of it is Mr Key opening his mouth before he had the full set of facts. He promised he/the government would get the guys out of there any way possible. That was not long after the explosion. Now he is having to eat his words with the reality of the situation making it near on impossible for anyone to enter the mine.

 

Apparently the families have had an independent report that says entering is safe. Solid Energy has an independent report saying it is not. How do you decide? To me it seems a fairly futile task but try telling that the families.


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  Reply # 1681217 2-Dec-2016 12:08
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MikeB4: I feel the families need to say farewell and move on with their life. To that end I feel the mine should be sealed and become an official grave site similar to what was done with sunken warships.

The government should pay for the sealing and erection of a memorial.

 

I agree with this.

 

I don't know the ins and outs or details, but if there isn't a consensus on whether it is safe or not then they should not risk other lives solely for the purpose of retrieving bodies. I'd be surprised if anyone was willing to say retrieval was 100% safe.

 

I don't want to be insensitive, and maybe I'd have a different opinion if one of my relatives was involved, but why risk lives to retrieve bodies just to bury (or cremate) them elsewhere? Make it a memorial where family can go and visit.

 

I just don't understand what closure they think retrieving the bodies will give them.


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  Reply # 1681220 2-Dec-2016 12:10
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One of members of family of one of the mining victims was a customer of ours when we owned the video shop. He went through so many stresses etc (aside from deep hurt that would come from losing a child) that simply were not released to the media. I didn't watch the documentary so don't know if much has come out, but I do remember the resentment at the time over the boss getting off scott free.

 

From one perspective, I can understand where the families are coming from, there are simply too many unanswered questions about the events after the first explosion and the mining companies inability / unwillingness to act quickly to get into the mine (to the drift) where it is believed that any survivors would have likely to been. Getting in there may help answer some of those questions and provide a level of closure for them.

 

On the other hand, its different (in my mind) to a situation where the bodies are lost and they don't know where they are (think lost at sea or similar). They are for all intents and purposes already buried in a tomb. A permanent seal would essentially put them to rest, perhaps not in a way the families would have chosen if they could get the bodies out, but a tomb of sorts nonetheless.

 

Should more lives be put at risk now trying to get them out, no, and I don't think anyone from any of the families would argue that they should (other than perhaps going in themselves), it seems to be a case of my expert witness vs your expert witness. If there are differing "expert opinions" as to the safety of the mine, the decision surely has to come down on the side of caution?

 

 


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  Reply # 1681246 2-Dec-2016 13:04
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Yeah I think a big part of it is the investigation aspect, wanting to know exactly what happened and how it happened. From a mining safety point of view, it is worthwhile spending to have that information.

Agree that it is not worth risking lives to achieve this.

The question is really about the risk. To me it looks like a way forward will not be found until it is conducted by someone the families and survivors have a lot of trust in to give an accurate assessment and are taken along with that process. I think they deserve it.

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  Reply # 1681268 2-Dec-2016 13:37
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alasta:

 

mattwnz:

 

To be fair, mining is a very high risk job, and mining disasters can happen. I don't know enough about this one to know the ins and outs of what happened to comment more. However it is not exactly a low risk office job. You could say that the people who died in the Christchurch earthquakes, many just went to a low risk job, and ended up in a collapsed building. They are both terrible and tragic disasters, and both IMO should be tax payer funded to retrieve the bodies, if it is safe to do so. It sounds like there are conflicting opinions on whether it is safe or not, or whether it will ever be safe.

 

 

You obviously didn't see the documentary about it on TV last week. This disaster was highly preventable.

 

 

 

 

I didn't want to get into that sort of thing on here, because it isn't really relevant in getting the bodies out. But the fact is many disasters are preventable if you look back and analyze them. We do now have far stricter health and safety laws as a result, which were changed after this. But NZ is a ambulance at the bottom of the cliff society. 


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  Reply # 1681269 2-Dec-2016 13:38
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For anyone interested in learning a bit more about what happened, track down a copy of this book here http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19047730-tragedy-at-pike-river-mine

 

 

 

It is a very good and well respected account from start to finish of the mine and all the contributing factors. A very sobering read. Sometimes I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.


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