Last Sunday I talked on my show about the Government's Pike River policy.

Pike River gets me in the guts everytime and Sunday was the anniversary, so I gave my views.

If you didn't hear it, I despaired at the politicisation of the issue.

Pike River was an enormous cock-up by a large number of people. For instance, the kowtowing to the Greens to build a 2.3km tunnel to even get to the diggings when all the advice was to open mine the thing because it was a gaseous mine. Hello: A fatal politically motivated compromise.


Once all the flawed decisions were made, the commercial pressures of the mining company caused shortcuts.

More fatal decisions.

Then there was the gutting of the mining safety inspectors by the government which meant no-one was ringing the alarm bells.

So a lot of people making bad decisions

Eventually the domino effect of all these flawed decisions caused the death of 29 men.

But Pike River has become an issue about recovery of the bodies of the men rather than the positioning of accountability.

At the last election it was used by political parties to gain votes. Winston Peters said he'd be first in line to go in. Labour joined in. They won. So it was time to pony up.

But Peters said nothing on the day when I thought he should be gearing up with breathing gear to go in. And what did Andrew Little say on the anniversary? We'll go in when we get advice it's safe. Frankly, isn't that just what John Key said?
The only difference I see is Little said he'd respect the family's views more than the previous government.

If anyone gave their vote because they thought that the new government was more sympathetic to Pike River, I'd say you were taken for a ride.

My view is we'll go in and we won't get past the first rockfall. It will prove nothing. What we will have done is spend $20-odd million on the family's feelings. I don't begrudge that though. They deserve it. They've been screwed over on so many sides.

But when I heard yesterday afternoon that the blood money payment was deemed unlawful I actually whooped in the car.

I can handle that we won't get the boys bodies back. I can handle that we might never get in there. But I can't handle that no person or organisation has been held officially and legally responsible for their deaths.

It doesn't mean we can go back and get Peter Whittall and his crew, but it's more of a victory than Winston Peters' and Andrew Little's vague emotional promises made for political capital.

To Sonya Rockhouse and everyone else who made this decision happen, I salute you. The fact that the blood money payment happened in the first place is inexcusable.

Yesterday was a better day in the Pike River saga than any re-entry will ever be.