A grieving father says he bullied his son into getting off the couch and going to his death in the doomed Pike River Mine.

"I bullied him into going into the mines, which is probably one of the worst things I've ever done," Rick (Rowdy) Durbridge told the Herald.

"I would swap places with him tomorrow."

Durbridge, who spent years working in mines in Australia as well as Pike River, fought back tears as he opened up about pushing his son Daniel Herk to stop playing video games, get off the couch and find work at Pike River.