It's quiet at the gate that separates Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse from the bodies of their loved ones who died deep beneath the ground at Pike River mine in 2010.

"Keep out. Trespassers will be prosecuted," reads a sign in red and black capitals. Beside it, a rough poesy of ferns is tied to the fence.

Osborne and Rockhouse lead a group calling for the mine not to be sealed by current owner Solid Energy.

They hope that evidence of what happened could one day be recovered. With others, they are sitting on the road to the mine, north east of Greymouth.

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Today is day two of the protest.

"If they want to seal our boys in that mine they'll have to run us down to do it," Osborne said.

A sign at the Pike River gate, where family of the 29 killed in the coal mining disaster are protesting the sealing of the mine. Photo / Facebook
A sign at the Pike River gate, where family of the 29 killed in the coal mining disaster are protesting the sealing of the mine. Photo / Facebook

It was cold and damp last night and today, weather conditions vary between showers and showers threatening.

Visitors continue to arrive, bringing love, support and snacks. Caravans have been set up, and the sandflies are being well fed.

Osborne's husband Milton, 54, was one of the 29 men who died in a series of explosions at the mine in November 2010.

Rockhouse's son Benjamin also died. He was 21.

Hanging tough!

Posted by Stand With Pike on Friday, 11 November 2016

The families of the dead accept the main workings of the mine are still too dangerous to re-enter. But a previously unexplored area before it - known as "the drift" - needs to be looked at, they say.

"It's a last-ditch effort to try to stop the seal going in, mainly because there's still unexplored ground in the drift, there's the possibility of someone's loved-one being in there," Osborne said.

"The bodies of our boys - my husband, Sonya's son - could be in that safe stretch of mine. There could be evidence showing what happened in there, which we still don't have clear answers on. Why would you lock that off with hundreds of tonnes of concrete?"

"The first couple of kilometres of mine is safe to enter. Both the former head of WorkSafe's mine inspectors and the three international experts we've consulted have agreed on that," Osborne said.

"John Key told us he'd get our boys out," Rockhouse said. "Now the company his government owns is planning to seal the mine and seal our hope off with it.

"It's wrong and we're not going to let it happen."

Pike families' spokesman is Bernie Monk. His son Michael, 23, was one of the 29.

Monk spoke at the protest, saying he believed the drift is safe to enter.

"We've already done a stage of re-entry to the mine, we've gone 170m," Monk said. "I was there with Minister [Maggie] Barry (Monk's cousin) a few weeks ago. I was flabbergasted people were working in and out of that 170m chain without safety gear."

Flames burn from a ventilation shaft above the Pike River mine which fatally trapped 29 miners and contractors in Greymouth, New Zealand, in 2010. Photo: NZPA / Supplied.
Flames burn from a ventilation shaft above the Pike River mine which fatally trapped 29 miners and contractors in Greymouth, New Zealand, in 2010. Photo: NZPA / Supplied.

Yesterday, the offices of the Prime Minister Key and Minister Barry directed questioning to Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse, who denied re-entry is safe.

"I am advised that WorkSafe has no evidence that conditions at the drift of Pike River Mine are safe enough to explore a previously investigated stretch of the drift," Woodhouse said.

WorkSafe chief executive Gordon MacDonald also rejected Monk's claim.

"There is no evidence that conditions beyond the temporary seal at 170m have changed. Methane levels past that seal remain at 98 per cent and therefore it remains unsafe," he said.

Two years ago Solid Energy ruled out re-entry for safety reasons. Chief executive Tony King said nothing has changed.

"The environment has not materially changed since the decision to not re-enter the drift in 2014," Kind said. "Without seals in place the risk of fires and explosions is high."