Solid Energy: Don Elder 'I'm sorry'
Mr Palmer and former Solid Energy chief executive Don Elder made their highly anticipated appearance before Parliament's commerce committee this afternoon to answer questions about what led to the company's near collapse under $389 million in debt. Dr Elder told the packed committee room that the company's recent problems were down to a "perfect storm" of unprecedented coal price falls last year and the strong Kiwi dollar. He said it wasn't just New Zealand coal companies that were feeling the brunt of a drop in the price of coal, but US companies were also in serious trouble. He said the situation with Solid Energy needed to be looked at within an international context. Dr Elder offered an apology to workers on the West Coast who lost their jobs.