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"Now we are here", Pike Families - Stand with Pike

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Pike River Families have welcomed the recovery milestone that is pit bottom in stone - a series of side tunnels 1900 meters into the drift that contain critical evidence and have not been seen since the day of the explosion in November 2010.

Pike River widow Anna Osborne is the chair of the Family Reference Group - a democratically elected body representing almost all of the Pike River families. She says the recovery of pit bottom in stone needs strong scrutiny. "The families need to know that the scene examination will be done by the best experts, using the right equipment and knowledge.

"This is an absolutely critical part of the recovery and we are being very clear with police and the recovery agency that it must be a focused effort and that there needs to be transparency to ensure families can trust the outcome.

Sonya Rockhouse lost her son Ben in the explosion and has written extensively about the importance of this milestone. "Reaching this section of the drift has been one of the most important goals for the families for years now. This is the one place likely to hold evidence crucial to seeing justice being done.

"There are a lot of conspiracy theories floating around about Pike that have caused a lot of grief to family members. This is the chance to get a clear run at the truth."

Rowdy Durbridge worked at Pike and lost his boy Dan in the explosion, he says justice is coming closer. "It’s been a long and difficult journey this far, but it’s feeling closer and closer to the end. If you’d asked me six years ago when we’d all given up hope that we’d get to this point I’d have wept. Now we are here."

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