Upset over Whittall's new venture

By Natasha Burling

Peter Whittall, the former chief executive of Pike River Coal, has set up a mine safety consulting business. Photo / NZPA - Rachel Pinder
Peter Whittall, the former chief executive of Pike River Coal, has set up a mine safety consulting business. Photo / NZPA - Rachel Pinder

The former chief executive officer of Pike River Coal has set up a mine safety consulting business.

Peter Whittall was the boss of the West Coast mine when a series of explosions killed 29 men in November 2010.

He is facing 12 Department of Labour charges in relation to the disaster.

Mr Whittall has now registered Peter Whittall & Associates with the Companies Office.

His profile on business networking website LinkedIn says the company consults on technical, safety, commercial and management issues, primarily within the minerals industry.

It mentions he worked at Pike River Coal for nearly seven years but doesn't make mention of the disaster.

Spokesperson for the Pike River victims' families, Bernie Monk, said he wished Whittall had waited until after the Commission of Inquiry into the disaster before setting up a safety business.

Mr Monk said Mr Whittall promised to get the men out but left them over a year ago.

He said it was a very damning point and the families were hurt by it.

A report commissioned by the miners' families has found the recovery of the men lost in the mine can't be completed until July 2015 at the earliest.

Mr Monk said he would rather Mr Whittall had concentrated on getting the men out than setting up a consultancy business.

- Newstalk ZB

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