A documentary maker claims he has never before seen footage of a body inside Pike River Mine which he plans to include in an upcoming biopic about Helen Kelly.

Tony Sutorius reportedly told Newshub that footage from inside the mine - not seen by the public before - shows an intact body and he plans to include it in a documentary he's making about Helen Kelly's life.

Kelly died of lung cancer in 2016 and was an advocate of recovering the bodies inside the mine.

Twenty-nine men were killed at the Greymouth mine in 2010.


Sutorious claims the footage was shot four months after the last fire and explosion.

"It's acknowledged, in fact, by the police and the chief executive of Solid Energy that [the footage] does show a fully intact, clothed miner," he told Newshub.

"He's lying on the ground, he has his knees slightly raised you can see the tread on his boots... Police Commissioner Howard Broad was saying at the same time that this image was shot that all they were a pile of ashes, and the families just had to accept that there was nothing there and it was time to walk away.

"It wasn't true. If you look at these images down the mine there's wooden pallets, there's plastic buckets, there's rubber hoses. It wasn't an inferno down there, that was simply never true."

He described the Pike River victims as the "skeletons" in the country's closet.

"Everyone has decided it's too hard."

In 2011 families were shown video from inside the mine which showed crates and drums fully intact but police said at the time the footage was taken from well away from where the miners were believed to be at the time of the explosion.

Last year footage was leaked to media which showed a robot entering the mine in 2011, filming two bodies.


At the time Labour and New Zealand First questioned why the footage was "hidden", and then-Labour leader Andrew Little called on the Government to release all footage it had.

Little is now the Minister for Pike River re-entry.

He told the Herald this afternoon that he had yet to watch the footage but that its alleged existence further justified what the Government's plan to re-enter the mine.

"We are working very closely with the families on that and we are making slow progress," said Little.

Grey District Council mayor Tony Kokshoorn said families of the dead always knew the bodies were intact.

The Government is aiming to re-enter a small section of the main part of the mine in March next year.

In April it said a group of 11 technical advisers had been appointed to provide advice on the safety and feasibility of a re-entry.

The rest has been deemed too dangerous to enter.