291 workers have died since Pike River tragedy – when will worker lives matter?


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National Party stooges met at their conference by the symbolic graveyard of all the workers who have died on National’s watch. 

The Union movement was born out of the horrific worker injuries that occurred in pre-regulated NZ. The anger from workers dying while employers walked free generated a political voice that demanded reform.

Where is that voice now and where is the societal anger that brings change?

The watered down health and safety laws that were supposed to be a meaningful response to the Pike River atrocity are a slap in the face to those Pike River families and the families of every single one of the 291 workers who have died on the job since.

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This is law for National’s business mates at the cost of the workers who help them create their wealth.

Because NZers middle class dreams are now to be property speculators and we have a media more interested in paying attention to Max Key, Mike Hosking and Paul Henry, wider society are as blind to our work safety issues as the mountain of dead workers our lax regulation has reaped.



      • Neither Frank. Just downright vicious and nasty. A bit of a problem going on there! A staunch follower of NatzKEY obviously I’d say, given this and other responses from him/her/it!

      • Insane frank, as she/he is not human as do you notice it always is so nasty.
        But it gonna smortense to me saying my response to Martyns question,
        291 workers have died since Pike River tragedy – when will worker lives matter?
        When we change the Government mate and get rid of these inhuman NatZis.

    • ” What left-wing bullshit you spout . . . get a life you loser! ”

      My God man ( you are ‘quite the man’ aren’t you) the rhetorical power, the employment of literate invective is simply breathtaking. I’m swooning.

      I imagine your family – though cowering somewhere in a corner – are better for your example of bellicose, no-nonsense, public speech.

      You’ve certainly swayed me. Left wing is bad. I’m changing my political stripes as soon as I’ve finished typing this encomium about you.

  1. Not sure what part of losing a family member, due to poor work safely standards, has got to do with left wing bullshit?


    The facts show you’re just plain wrong.

    Both under the previous Labour government and under the current National one, industrial accidents and fatalities have continued their downward trend because NZ is (at last!) adopting global standards of safety management.



    But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of a story eh? 😉

    • Really, Andrew? You should work as a spin-doctor for the Nats. Were you hoping I would check the graph you linked to? It shows NZ deaths per 100,000 higher than Ireland, UK, Australia, and Canada. And the comment above the graph?

      “Rates of work-related deaths in New Zealand are falling, but remain high by international standards.”

      Which means the number of workplace deaths is higher than the four countries referred to on the graph (which you provided), and any in numbers simply puts us on an equal footing. Not a better one.

      The second graph shows a slight decline only because the 2010 figure reflects the deaths of 29 miners on 19 November, 2010, at Pike River Mine. If you subtract that number, the death rate is fairly consistent, ranging from 46 (2014) to 57 (2013).

      So all in all, the data you’ve presented is nothing to be proud of. Our death rate, per 100,000, is higher than Ireland, UK, Australia, and Canada, and numbers are fairly level over the past five years.

      But good to see you are using some methodology – even if your style of interpretation needs work.

      • I wholeheartedly agree they’re too high. They have been for many decades, both before and after the Rogernomics changes.

        So this isn’t a party political issue and I think it is disgusting to try and make it one.

        NZ safety legislation fell way behind other OECD nations and is only now catching up. Maybe the ‘she’ll be right’ and ‘No.8 wire’ aspects of our culture are also partly to blame?

        NZ’s industrial profile makes safety management difficult. Agricultural industries are globally more accident prone and the small size of the average NZ company makes government oversight difficult.

        Thus it’s not a surprise that we have a higher average than some others. But that doesn’t mean we can’t gradually improve matters – and as the statistics show, we are.

  3. When the National government started talking about how they were going to improve New Zealand’s work safety I straight away said to myself “yeah, right!, heard this before!” It was inevitable that nothing much would happen, besides the b.s artistry of reclassifying and reinventing. Where workers ask for safe workplaces, employers smell red tape and since National always claim to be the red tape busters it looks like a classical ideological contradiction to push more red tape onto your pals. So we get the so-called National backbench revolt. Some revolt! What probably happened was that a bunch of business groups got together and threatened to leave National short-changed if they didn’t do what they were told. There was no backbench revolt because the cabinet went belly up immediately.
    Business groups tell National to jump and National asks “how high?”

  4. Cheer up chaps…Andrewo and that git ….erm…Mortien are probably fast food managers who got their arses kicked by Unite Union .

    Hell,….if they could get cheap immigrant labour for nothing even that wouldn’t be good enough for them .

    They would insist that those workers actually PAID them for the privilege of of working for them.

    That’s the sort of vampires these types are.

    And as for Pike River and the other 200 plus workplace deaths so far?

    Hey …its bad advertising for them at the moment but Premier Kee has a great spin machine in Mediaworks sycophants to cover that shit up with story’s of some spoilt rich brat goofing of in some luxury holiday destination with his girlfriend .

    • WK

      Before you go rewriting the history of the Pike River disaster:

      I think you’ll find it was an illegitimate child of the Clark government…

      I think you’ll also find both workers and union reps ignored safety procedures and in some instances even disabled safety related sensors.

      In fact the inquiry found that blame was shared right across the spectrum: Government, Company, Workers and even Forest & Bird (who blocked it being an open pit design)

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