PM 'passing the buck' on Pike River

By Hayden Donnell

Prime Minister John Key said everything that could be done to recover the men had been done. Photo / Supplied
Prime Minister John Key said everything that could be done to recover the men had been done. Photo / Supplied

Labour leader Phil Goff has accused Prime Minister John Key of "passing the buck" on whether to permanently seal the Pike River coal mine.

He is calling on Mr Key to shoulder responsibility for the future of the mine instead of handing it to police and receivers.

"The families who lost loved ones in this disaster are rightly angry at the way they have been treated. At the time of the disaster, John Key rushed down to Greymouth making promises that he now says he can't keep. He was happy to front at the time of the tragedy, but now the hard decisions have to be made, he's desperate not to take responsibility."

The bodies of twenty-nine workers have been in the Pike River mine since it was wracked by a series of explosions in November.

Receivers have been given until 5pm today to come up with a plan for stabilising the mine.

Their original submission made last month was rejected by police.

Bernie Monk, father of lost miner Michael Monk, says he has no details about what could be included in the plan for the mine to be presented by receivers this afternoon.

Families have been "kept out of the loop" throughout the operation to recover the bodies of their loved ones, he says.

He claims family members working on the recovery teams at the mine are the only ones feeding open and honest information to the families of the lost miners.

"We just want to be kept in the loop with the mine being sealed up. There's been a big lack of communication through departments - Government, and police."

Lawyers employed by the family are preparing to take action if they are not satisfied with the justification for any decision to seal the mine, Mr Monk says.

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