Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little visited the Pike River families late this morning at the picket line, just hours after Green Party MP Denise Roche.

Little's visit comes just three days after Winston Peters was there.

The families have been protesting the sealing of the mine, and pushing for safe re-entry of the drift.

"I was asked to come down and I am here to support and give my allegiance to the families," Little said.


Little has been involved with the families' fight for justice since day one when he was head of the miners' union, the EPMU.

He was most recently back for the sixth anniversary of the disaster.

He was welcomed by about 30 Pike supporters, who braved torrential rain.

Little has promised that a Labour Government would get an independent assessment of the mine, and re-enter it if it was declared safe.

In December, Peters said he would be willing to be among the first to enter the drift, and at the weekend stated "our party will make re-entry into Pike River a bottom line at the next election".

In other developments, Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse said this the "re-entry is quite achievable and with the right gear and training, I'd like to be part of the team that re-enters the mine".

Green Party workplace relations and safety spokeswoman Denise Roche was also at the picket line this morning and said the mine should not be sealed.

The Government needed to look at all the reports about mine re-entry and fund an independent assessment of whether the mine drift could be re-entered safely.

- Greymouth Star