Govt releases plan on Pike River inquiry's progress

By Kate Shuttleworth

The entrance to the Pike River Coal mine. Photo / NZPA
The entrance to the Pike River Coal mine. Photo / NZPA

The Government released an implementation plan today showing what progress has been made on the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Labour, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges released the update today saying they hoped all recommendations would be in place by the end of the year.

Mr Joyce said the Government had made a commitment to the families of the victims of Pike River to ensure the recommendations are followed.

The Government has:

* Announced a new stand-alone Crown agent focussed on workplace health and safety; expected to be in place by December, with legislation before Parliament in June.

* Passed the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill. The Bill introduces an initial assessment of permit applicants' health and safety and environmental management capability.

* Established an expert reference group of international and New Zealand mining and regulatory experts, emergency management experts, industry and employee participants. The Group advises the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help it establish a new mining regulatory framework that meets international best practice.

* Appointed Graham Sunderland, an expert in emergency management and response, to the expert reference group and Steven Dohnt, (EDS: correct) who has experience in the New Zealand quarrying sector.

* Begun the drafting of guidance material for directors on how good governance practices can manage health and safety risks.

- APNZ

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