You are here:  Home  >  Most Recent Blogs  >  Current Article

Why has Pike footage been hidden for so long? – Andrew Little

By   /  May 1, 2017  /  12 Comments

    Print       Email

New footage of workers servicing a robot in the Pike River drift appears to show that going into the drift doesn’t pose the danger the Government and Solid Energy claimed, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“The Government must immediately release all Pike footage and images, and explain why it has kept the public and the families in the dark for so long.

“This new footage casts doubt over the Government’s reasons for blocking a manned re-entry of the drift.

“The sight of men moving confidently inside the drift with only breathing masks on suggests this isn’t the excessively dangerous situation National and Solid Energy portray it as. National claims sending people into the drift would unduly risk their lives. Yet, here is film of two men calmly working in the drift, taking their time to make an ad hoc water cover for a robot.

“The robot footage shows the drift is in good shape, with even the pipes largely undamaged by the explosions. There’s nothing in the footage to support National’s claim the drift could collapse.

“The fact that the robot overheats and emits smoke yet no explosion is triggered makes a lie of Nick Smith’s claim that the 98% methane atmosphere in the drift is highly flammable. In fact, as the scientifically literate Nick Smith surely knows, methane cannot explode in a nearly pure methane atmosphere with little oxygen.

“It is disturbing that such important footage, which undercuts the Government’s reasons for stopping a re-entry into Pike, has been kept from the public eye for so long.

“Why haven’t the families or the public seen this footage before now? For years, the families have been calling for all footage and pictures taken inside Pike River since the explosion to be released. Yet, the Government still hasn’t released that material, and we have to rely on leaks to find out the truth.

“We know, from written questions, that the Government holds 24,000 images and 265GB of footage related to Pike River. The inevitable question, now, is: what other important material is the Government keeping hidden? The families and the public deserve to be able to see it all,” says Andrew Little.

Want to support this work? Donate today
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
    Print       Email


  1. WILD KATIPO says:

    They are changing their story’s by the day :

    A) ”The Mines Rescue Trust has confirmed that two staff members featured in the video were in a container at the entrance of the mine, rather than deep inside the mine where the methane levels were very high. They traveled just two meters into the drift, English said.”

    However , regardless, two points arise .

    1) Methane is only combustible in the presence of oxygen at percentages of 3.5% to 17%.

    Not 98 % . It is then inert and explains exactly why there was no flame or explosion when the robot overheated.

    This demonstrates either Nick Smiths ignorance of scientific facts or his lack of understanding of mine safety and mine recuse operations. Hardly an informed Minister.

    2) Smith is relying on the public’s general ignorance of these facts. In which case demonstrates that lies are being told – for some reason.

    B ) ” Police said today that families had been shown excerpts of the video footage at meetings in Greymouth in July 2011. Around 30 family members and supporters were at the meetings.The footage is 20 to 30 hours long, and it is also not clear whether families were shown parts of the video in which the robot appears to emit smoke while inside the mine’s drift. ”

    C ) ”Last night, police told Newshub that they did not hand over the footage to a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the mining disaster because it was assessed as having no evidential value. This added to the families’ feeling of a cover-up.”

    D ) ”Police deputy commissioner National Operations Mike Clement said today that the police had mistakenly been referring to an earlier piece of video evidence taken inside the mine in November 2010. English confirmed the March 2011 footage had been turned over to the commission of inquiry.”


    However , this shifting of the goalposts seems fine until one hears the expressed opinions of not only the Pike River family’s but also that of Nigel Hampton QC , – who was the lawyer for the Pike River family’s who all say they never saw that footage before 3 weeks ago and again on Newshub last night.

    Someone is clearly lying . And for what motive ?… that would be interesting to find out.

  2. jay1 says:

    We all know that if proper stringent safety precautions had been followed as they do in Australia and elsewhere this tragedy would never have happened. Cowboy New Zealand at its best! Workers are pawns to be shoved around management is God. Sick… Sick… And this shit outcome must be covered up at all costs. This buggered up country is a waste of breath so I’m out.

  3. Once ..whatever says:

    I suspect this may well become NZ’s Flint Michigan moment.
    Not only was the enquiry not presented with all the evidence and feks – for reasons only known to those that have a good deal to hide, but there’s a continued effort to obfuscate and bullshit.
    That poor old District Commander – utterly out of his depth (who btw I’ve had dealings with), coupled with the bro-hood cultcha in the NZ Police. It raises questions of jurisdiction and where best capability exists.
    I saw somewhere a comment about the deficiencies in electrical devices and wiring involving some South African fella. Possibly here on TDB, or that bastion of protest and representative of the Left’s broad church and chirps (TS).
    And that would be one of many “the inquiry” never got to hear. Like the electrician hosting his girlfriend through the mine (a former NZSO publicist) who tried to tell the authorities the whole thing was “an Accident waiting to happen”.
    I bet they’re glad they got the hell out of here

  4. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Pretty obvious, really: the entire site is a crime scene. The fact is there is a very real probability that we’ll find out that the victims of Pike River WEREN’T all killed by the blasts, contrary to the “expert” opinion of the Government stooges – i.e. there were people still alive that could have been rescued. The public embarrassment of this potential revelation was too much for the government to bear, so they instead opted to cover the whole thing up and hope the story would go away. It hasn’t, and now the ramifications of their ill-advised decision is coming back to haunt them.

  5. mary_a says:

    Key, English, Smith, Joyce, Collins and and the rest of their Natz collaborators fear their dirty secrets and lies regarding the Pike River tragedy, are about to be exposed. The reason I guess for keeping details of this video hidden!

    It seems they might be scared of the reason for the explosion becoming public knowledge, when some accountability could be demanded of government and the management of the mine at the time of the disaster.

    What is seen in the video goes against everything the Natz have been telling the families and the NZ public. With a smoking sparking robot in the drift, not to mention the two technicians doing repairs, the Natz have been feeding bullshit to the masses for this time, as to reasons the mine can’t be entered! Surely if the risk had been as high as we were told, then why wasn’t there an explosion when the robot started to heat and spark?

    This amongst other issues, Afghanistan, the Panama Papers etc, undoubtedly was the reason Key the sneaky little coward walked! He saw the writing on the wall and bolted!

    Pike River widow Anna Osborne says there is more to come. Let’s hope it’s made public before the Queen’s Birthday (dis)honours list is confirmed!

  6. Kim dandy says:

    The families deserve closure! Not much to ask one would think.

  7. Michelle says:

    just more lies and deceit Andrew (Little) if you get in this year I really hope you don’t lower yourself to this level

  8. CLEANGREEN says:

    There is a concrete effort being made by Nactional spin doctors to “sanitise” the news leading up to the election “Not to draw any negative media attention away from the heavy spin doctoring to make Government appear competent.

    This is illegally being carried out using our hard earned dollars, for their benefit not ours, as we pay for the public funded media NZTV/RNZ.

  9. Observer Tokoroa says:

    ” I know Noffingk ”

    It is difficult to understand the mental processes of our Government.

    They seal off and permanently hide information of great importance on all manner of things.

    There is no evidence that John Key or Bill English or any member of the National Party had real concern over the Pike Mining disaster.

    Care and Concern is not part of the known platform of National.

    Money taken from the public is National’s game. They are there to protect, nurse and fatten the Wealthy. Damn anyone else, Damn Truth.

  10. saveNZ says:

    Pike River represents what has gone wrong in NZ.

    That so many men died in a dangerous mine that was allowed to operate although known to be unsafe.

    Now, the men have died, no stone unturned legally to stop anyone entering the mine to find out what happened and any legal action or blame being attached to those who were responsible for the mine.

    A deal being made behind doors to get the business executives off and a hasty sale of assets to another entity to muddy the waters.

    More and more excuses found to be untrue, such as the latest that shows men have been in the ‘unsafe’ mine that was kept from families.

    Meanwhile in a parallel universe the average joe is ladened with ridiculous health and safety requirements and faces consequences from workplace for accidents that should not be prosecuted in the first place. This has now gone to teachers in schools, cleaners and so forth under National.

    However the ‘big guys’ get away with killing people on the job without known adequate safety requirements which should certainly be manslaughter and escape without censure.

    Feel a lot of sorrow for the families. They families were killed and they have to listen to every excuse in the book of why their bodies can’t be recovered.

    Worse in my mind, if they had been allowed to go into the mine straight away with the mine having proper protocol for rescue, (not just some idea that after a blast, you just leave any survivors in there to die), then maybe the men might have been saved.

  11. Jono says:

    A real cover up all the way to the top. I think there is some real butt covering going on by the National government which will have strong links to solid energy and its management. Congrats Andrew looks like you have the election in the bag once the truth comes out.

  12. countryboy says:

    The reason no one wants to take responsibility for going into the mine and recovering the bodies of those guys is one of modern economics. Neo Liberalism to be exact.
    The Right Wing lunacy of user pays, markets ruling and I’m alright Jack means that there is always financial loss if someone breaks a nail at work much less dying in a work place accident. And once in that awful mine, is there going to be proof uncovered that makes the mine owners culpable for the workers deaths? Which might mean law suits, insurance claims and on-going litigation to Hell and back. If in doubt about my suspicions, look about at the proliferation of the Fluro Vest phenomenon. The Traffic Cone effect.
    This awful affair is entirely about arse covering and the Bankers and Insurers will be the rats in this particular nest and they will have our politicians all bought and paid for.

You might also like...

Can America beat Iran in a war? Maybe not.

Read More →