National Party leader Simon Bridges displays a continuing lack of empathy for his fellow human beings, as his stance on the Pike River Mine tragedy demonstrates.
National Party leader Simon Bridges doesn’t believe the families of the 29 men who died at Pike River are owed an apology from the government.
Radio NZ, 19.11.18
The Minister Responsible for Pike River re-entry Andrew Little said the National government should make a public apology for its failures at the mine.
The government’s independent adviser on the mine recovery operation, Rob Fyfe, has called for such an apology to the families of the 29 men who died in the mine explosions in 2010.
However, on the eighth anniversary of the disaster, Mr Bridges told Morning Report he didn’t believe the families were owed an apology from the current or previous government.
“I don’t think so,” he said, “because I think what is true is the one thing that honours the legacy of these 29 men and their families best is what happened with the Royal Commission with an independent health and safety taskforce and then the most comprehensive health and safety changes in the history of New Zealand, particularly in mining, but in others areas as well.
“I think that’s what honours the legacy of these men,” he said.
“In terms of the re-entry of the mine, we wanted to do it, but the advice was universal and clear that it wasn’t the thing to do.
“If he (Mr Little) has different information, that is good, I’m not against that but safety must be at the front of this,” Mr Bridges said.
However the head of the Pike River Families Group Committee, Carol Rose, said while the previous National government took steps to change health and safety regulations, it did nothing to bring the bodies of the 29 men home.
“I was a little bit offended to hear him talking about the legacy to those 29 men. We felt the National government did everything they could do to prevent the reclamation of the drift and the recovery of any of the bodies….
Today (14 November) the government announced it will proceed with the re-entry of the Pike River Mine which will begin in February next year.