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Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas - Little

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says.

"Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and safety regulator WorkSafe.

"The Pike River Recovery Agency has planned a safe, manned re-entry and recovery of the drift past the 170m barrier, with input from local and international experts. The next step is advancing safely up the remainder of the 2.3km drift and carrying out forensic examinations along the way.

"This Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to the Pike River families and all New Zealanders. We need to find out as much as possible about what caused 29 men to go to work and not come home. The safe recovery of the mine drift, and its forensic examination, is part of an overdue act of justice.

"As previously announced, the plan includes an exemption to one aspect of mining regulations [1] which has been approved by WorkSafe under existing law [2]. The Agency was required to demonstrate its plan was as safe or safer than the regulation.

"Now the Agency will proceed with what it considers to be the best and safest way to ventilate the drift.

"This is welcome Christmas news for the families, for the Agency’s staff, and all New Zealanders," Andrew Little said.

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