Andrew Little confirms Pike River Mine Drift re-entry plan to proceed


The Pike River Mine Drift will be re-entered, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced today.

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa – Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little.

“I’ve been considering the re-entry recommendations, risk assessments and information provided by the Pike River Recovery Agency, along with input from independent advisor, Rob Fyfe.

“The re-entry method I have approved is the simplest and safest plan.

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“The process we’ve gone through to plan a safe, re-entry has been extensive and robust.  Experts from around the world have spent months examining details of all the risks pertaining to each option.

“The planned method of re-entry will be made safe through the use of controls, in line with mining standards around the world.

“This is an extraordinarily complex undertaking and we have had the benefit of advice from some of the best in the world in their field.

“Safety has been our paramount concern throughout this planning process, and supported wholeheartedly by the Pike River families.

“I want to thank the families for working alongside the Pike River Recovery Agency over the past months.  And for the eight years in which they never gave up hope.

“The New Zealand Police is closely involved in the operation. With their support and advice the drift tunnel will be thoroughly examined through to the roof fall area.

“Work to prepare the mine drift for re-entry is underway, and includes venting methane from the mine, pumping nitrogen into the mine, and then filling the drift with fresh air. Additional boreholes have to be drilled and this work will get under way immediately.

“The advice I have received indicates that it is likely to be around February before the re-entry proper gets underway, by breaching the 30m seal.

“The people of New Zealand can rest assured that this re-entry plan is achievable.  It is now our intention to get this job done, and try and find out why those 29 men went to work on 19 November 2010, and never came home,” Andrew Little said.


  • The Pike River Mine Re-entry Plan and all briefing papers provided to the Minister have been released today and are available on the Pike River Recovery Agency website –



  1. What a ridiculous waste of money!

    Pandering to the emotions of *some* of the bereaved is costing millions that would be better spent on health, education and even quality pinot noir.

    • At the behest of the Pike River families that have been part of the decision making process since day one. This government is keeping its word after the previous National government failed them. Remember John key’s hollow words “Whatever it takes”

    • Well there is also the (imo likely) possibility that they will uncover a crime scene. If that is case, then those responsible will need to be held to account. I assume you don’t condone cover-ups of crimes, do you?

    • don’t agree with you Andrew we need to find out what actually happened and we need to make sure something like this never happens again.
      Also no one has been held accountable and this needs to be put right other wise it sets a bad precedent. We have already had 40 work related deaths this year in our country and that is not good enough that’s 40 people that went to work and never made it home Andrew. If you want to moan about money you should be moaning about the 100 k soimon spent on his travelling show visiting those cronies that vote for him and his party now that in my view was a ridiculous waste of my taxes

    • Money well spent; not just government seen to be acting in an honourable way – a rare occurrence – but govt prepared to take ownership of a terrible tragedy and address issues of culpability, should these arise. We are coming of age as a country.

      Kia kaha Pike River families. I cannot begin to imagine what it may be like having whanau entombed in the bowels of the earth, but the investigative process’s outcome may provide information which could help ensure that a similar disaster never happens again.

      • Your right on the button Christine when people go to work they expect to come home not be buried at their workplace. We should be ashamed of this and this should never be allowed to happen again. We have an obligation to ensure our workplaces are safe.

    • Time for another flag referendum, how many lives were lost due to that waste of money? Actually how many lives lost in 9 years of Nationals mismanagement?

      One things for certain Andrew, your’s will be a lonely funeral.

    • One Government says we will re enter the mine and does, the other says they will re-enter the mine and doesn’t. The latter have proven how morally corrupt they were.

    • Quite a heartless comment to make Andrew, when you think what the families, friends and colleagues of the 29 miners have been through since the tragedy.

      Considering the lies the bereaved were told, as well as the false hopes given, cover ups etc by the previous government and the company, IMHO I think this government is doing the right thing here in attempting a re entry of the mine. It’s called demonstrating humanity and respect.

      I wish all involved well in the re entry.

    • @ ANDREW.
      I agree, you’re a shallow, sadistic little idiot and you lack not only humanity but nobility.
      Oh, sorry. That wasn’t what you meant, was it. Sorry.

    • Andrew, you and your Epson electorate mates must be sh***ing themselves now you know that the truth will finally be revealed about how unsafe the mine was. No wonder John Key wanted it sealed forever. Don’t be surprised Andrew if your rich mates find themselves facing criminal charges….

    • @Andrew, I know you’re the resident right winger but that’s bit too dickish even for you. Please try to expand your empathy.

    • Andrew: “What a ridiculous waste of money!”

      On balance, this is the right thing to do, notwithstanding the amount of money it’ll cost.

      Sometimes the morally good imperative outweighs the cost; this is one of those times.

    • And the best part of it is:
      YOUR taxes will be helping pay it!
      Unless you put some more into your Cayman Islands bank account.
      Its tough at the top, Andrew!

    • I am so fortunate that I am not related to Andrew in any shape or form.

      Can you just imagine his dilemma if one of his close family members requires life saving treatment – I can see him now pondering if he should pay for the treatment or buy another case of Pinot Noir.

      Nasty heap of s..t.

  2. Hopefully Winston will be first in and show John Key a few old tricks he learnt on the Snowy River Hydro Scheme in Australia ?

  3. Those poor people who have their dead loved ones down a hole have suffered for years because politicians walked about with their little dicks in their soft little hands entirely lacking the guts to get in there and drag those bodies out.
    Those politicians would be the same people who, when seeing a boat load of babies capsize on a lake? They’d wander off to form a comity to engage a team of consultants to show them how best to write up a report on the most cost efficient way to dredge the lake bottom. The time to act was immediately after the explosion and our politicians were to cowardly to take the initiative. And now? Has the Pike River disaster opened up an opportunity for yet other politicians to show boat how masterful they are and getting something done years after the event?
    It’s all just really, really nasty.

    • Yeah COUNTRYBOY, where was the “get some guts” Key espoused, what a fuckwit he turned out to be, oops sorry Sir Fuckwit.

  4. Ah. Bugger. ‘Comity’? Nah. Spelled ‘committee’. God, I hate that. Never trust a fart, or your spell checker.

  5. Shame on the last government for sweeping this to the side. Well done to the new government for doing what they said they would do and finally wishes to the families, that they may have some closure.

  6. about bloody time, hope they include a team of mine accident investigators as well, people need justice and the company directors need to be JAILED

  7. Andrew, your comments are distasteful, heartless and illustrative of an individual who is devoid of any sense of compassion towards not only the devastated families of the deceased but to the deceased themselves who have lain where they fell while simply doing their jobs.

    To any of the families of the deceased and their friends who might read Andrew’s appalling comments, please do not let those comments penetrate or even dent your armour of resolve to recover your loved ones. All of you have fought so bravely for so long that you and your loved ones deserve the peace of knowing that they have been removed from the mine and properly laid to rest.

    Andrew, if ever someone, perhaps a stranger, extends their sense of compassion to you and helps you when you are down, I hope you remember the comments you have just made and feel ashamed. Luckily, the majority of people in this country are compassionate and their individual hearts and the heart of the nation, of which at the moment you do not belong, are with the families of those who died in the mine.

    Congratulations Mr Little for making this decision and shame on the previous National Government for refusing a re-entry.

  8. Hey Andrew why don’t you lance that putrid boil on your neck – its called your head – and eviscerate it of its toxic poison that forms your mind-set and vomits out the filth that are your comments.

    After you have done that, return to the rock in the swamp from which you came and hide under it…..forever.

    • Um- Harry -maybe a bit over the top- Robert could be on a steep learning curve here – and he could still emerge ok – other conditions being favourable – new teachers- a feed of Bill English’s Bunnings’ sausage sizzle with onions positioned in the correct order in the interests of safety. It’s a start.

  9. Andrew has to be a dork. He’s deflecting attention from his lord and master, John Key, who promised to recover the bodies. His broken promise will forever be an odious stain on Key’s tenure as PM.

    Lest we forget why it has taken so long: John Key.

  10. Andrew you comments are ugly and repulsive. You are a weak and pathetic individual lacking any semblance of courage or dignity. Laugh as no doubt you will but it will the harsh laugh of clown with a fixed downward smile on its wooden face.

  11. Mjolnir – we really need Key right of the national psyche, it’s a great shame he never quit the country that he did nothing for.

    Manners maketh the man, and Key had no manners so I don’t see him as a man.

    History will record him as a distinct oddity with a penchant for pulling girls’ hair.

    His acolytes may think money maketh the man, but ‘the song it goes deeper and higher’.

    Money just buys knighthoods (ha ha ha), pays for the power bills and kids’ new shoes and a plastic pack of saveloys, but when it signals that dead miners don’t matter, and when it acts as a role model for the Andrews, then the Andrews are being short-changed here. Pity them.

    As D’Esterre says, this is the right thing to do. Simple as. This is our new flag. It’s been a while coming, but it’s here.

  12. Andrew why don’t you see if you can get a job in the White House as an adviser to Donald the Trumpet blower? Actually, on second thoughts even he wouldn’t have you.

    Oh I know, you could team up with Duterte in the Phillipines. Now there’s a partnership that would flourish. You two would bounce along quite nicely together executing people on a whim.

  13. Andrew Little, you are very impressive as a politician doing the right thing (would have made a good PM). Like so many others my heart is warm knowing that the Pike River families and their dead, will have justice at last.
    Andrew I agree more should be spent on education & health, but it’s not an either/or option against entering the mine. The government could afford all of it, & we need it for our humanity.

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