Pike families shocked by missing evidence


Here is the picture of the evidence that disappeared. It’s the cover from a switch cabinet that was in the mine and was not intrinsically safe. It was photographed on the 28th of November 2010 after it was blown up the vent shaft and landed on the ground above the mine.

Pike River families are shocked that vital evidence was lost during the initial investigation of the Pike River mine explosion.

A picture of the evidence – an electrical cabinet that was blown to the mine surface – has just come to light, however nobody has been able to say where the actual item has gone.

Sonya Rockhouse lost her son Ben in the mine and describes the lost evidence as immensely disturbing. “A lot of the electrical equipment in the mine wasn’t designed to be in a mine, it was incredibly unsafe, now we’ve found out that one of these unsafe cabinets was blown to the surface and it disappeared onto a helicopter leased by the Pike River Mine company.

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“It’s bloody outrageous and it shows exactly why we need to go back into Pike and why we need a proper investigation. I don’t think any New Zealander wants to live in a country where 29 men die like this and then critical evidence disappears.”

Bernie Monk whose son Michael died in the mine explosion is angry this has taken so long to come to light. “This is crook. Someone knew that incredibly important evidence had turned up and somebody knows what happened to it. Whoever that is needs to come forward right now because we’re not stopping until we uncover the truth.”

Anna Osborne’s husband Milton lost his life at Pike. She says police will be taking this very seriously. “What I want to know is why did the company responsible for the unsafe mine have their hands on evidence like this? All I can say is it’s a good thing we fought so hard for reentry and re-investigation, because with each day it’s clear there’s more that New Zealand needs to know.”


  1. This is like Erebus all over again.
    The police must act on this.
    It is removing vital evidence in a serious loss of life situation.
    It only goes to prove that yet again there has been corruption and obstructing the course of justice here and it MUST not stand.
    I still believe that the Key – English government and the Pike river mine company has done its best to cover up an appalling crime.
    This is not over and is a crime scene that warrants police action !!!!

    • Mosa, I think you have got it in one there. Forked tongue promises followed by betrayal at every step of the way for the families and colleagues of the Pike River 29. No accountability for the tragic loss of life.

      And now this disturbing piece of news, which could point to a crime scene having been interfered with and covered up.

      CEO Peter Whittall was let off lightly, now let’s see if the previous Key government has blood on its grubby hands. I’m picking it does and have thought so for some time.

      • I guess the point of a reentry exercise at this late late point is to establish how stringent New Zealand mining regulations really need to be. I mean first off rising declines have to be banned on conservation land because of lack of road access to work sites of critical mining infrastructure. Perhaps massive steel vent doors have to be installed in specific sections to prevent atomisation and pooling of certain gases. Y’know? Like a really good, professional first up investigative report with a set of decent recommendations and evidence to back it up.

  2. You do not need a learned judge and a commission to assemble the litany of lies offered by the Pike company and the NACT mouth pieces in discussion before and after the Pike explosion.

    Electricians working in the mine were disciplined by Pike office in Greymouth if they pressed for union involvement in safety management or even suggested such during a site meeting, or mentioned a need for outside mine safety expertise to be used.

    john keys blind trusts were invested in coal harvesting.

    john key was a practiced liar.

    After the explosion there was a move to use that “tragedy” as a reason for opening up conservation land to open cast mining.

    So the orchestration was part of a pattern of actions to fill the pockets of off shore investors in mining.

    The regulations surrounding mining safety were ameliorated through successive deregulation by NACT and cohort political appointments.

    Prosecute the bastards and order heavy penalties with restitution .

    Funds of any investor in mining and all shares should be frozen immediately if an “accident” occurs, or if safety measures are reported as being breached or deemed inadequate by a workers representative body, OSH or mines inspectors.

  3. Why did National not want to re-enter the mine? Something to hide / ass covering.
    Why has key evidence disappeared? Something to hide / ass covering.

  4. Spot on Mosa – well put.

    An acquaintance of my father who was around at the time of Erebus told me that someone broke into the private home of the pilot, Captain Collins and stole only the papers relating to the flight plans. Nothing else was touched. Air New Zealand would not accept responsibility and blamed the flight crew. The High Court Judge who ran the commission of enquiry referred to Air New Zealand’s evidence as an “orchestrated littany of lies”.

    Where is the missing electrical cabinet and why did it go missing? Crucial evidence has disappeared. So yes, Erebus all over again.

    Someone needs to be held to account and the families of those who perished need answers and justice. You are in my thoughts.

  5. Remember me? Saying there should be a guard put on the mine site once a new Labour Government decided to investigate?
    Seems I was too late.

    The incriminating evidence was already being shipped/flown out.

  6. Spot on mosa.
    Accountability now!
    Like Areibus – too many variables just don’t add up.
    Time for a full independent enquiry.

    • Norris the CEO who directly contributed to and most likely organised the litany of lies about the Erebus crash and cover up, presented under oath at the inquiry. went on to have an illustrious career for decades as the head of several large companies in NZ and OZZ.

      A lying scoundrel but protected by the club.

      “Prime Minister Robert Muldoon’s backroom advisers worked to debunk the embarrassingly critical Erebus crash report even before it was released.

      The revelations to the Herald on Sunday come on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Antarctic crash that claimed 257 lives when an Air New Zealand DC10 flew into the slopes of Mt Erebus, on November 28, 1979.

      The one-man commission, the late Justice Peter Mahon, was slammed by Muldoon who refused to table his 1981 report which accused Air New Zealand witnesses of participating in an “orchestrated litany of lies” on the witness stand….”

      257 people died in the crash. Air NZ staff told a raft of orchestrated lies to the inquiry. Cockpit recording scripts were altered and several version still exist.

      All on Norris’ watch

      The culture under Norris

      “Air New Zealand was more worried about maintaining its public image than caring for stressed staff members and grieving next of kin after the disastrous Erebus crash.

      The allegation is made in a 23-year-old report written by Auckland woman Raewyn Clark – who established a support group for airline staff and the families of 20 crew members who perished on Mt Erebus…”.

      Norris was finally knighted for his contribution to corporate investors.


      john key recognises the club and has referred to it several times publicly. Collusion for elites and the investor state is largely hidden.

      People and live matter little except for PR purposes.

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