Former Pike River Coal boss Peter Whittall has been unemployed for two years, but his lawyer said today she was unsure if he planned to return to Australia now charges against him had been dropped.

Mr Whittall has lived in New Zealand since 2005, initially in Greymouth to set up the doomed coalmine, later moving to Wellington when he became chief executive.

Charges laid against Mr Whittall relating to the 2010 mine disaster were dropped this week.

"I haven't really discussed what the future holds for Peter or what his plans are now," lawyer Stacey Shortall told the Greymouth Star.


She confirmed that Mr Whittall had been out of work since he was made redundant from the coal company two years ago.

"He has not worked at all." She said that she was not sure what "spectrum" of work he had been seeking, but confirmed he had no luck in getting work within the mining industry.

- The Greymouth Star