Pike Contractor Gagged. Why?
A drilling contractor working at the Pike River Mine after the 29 deaths has never been allowed to reveal what he saw.
“His contract has an extra confidentiality clause gagging him from ever talking to the news media,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“This raises serious questions as to why?
“If, as the National government continues to insist, there is no cover-up of evidence why can’t the contractor speak freely.
“Why was Solid Energy, who employed the driller, so concerned about him talking - concerned enough to add that clause.
“The Prime Minister claims the families push to get inside the mine is not about politics, so what is the problem?
“It is understood the contractor’s equipment is sitting idle at the mine, and has been for over three years, with Solid Energy paying a bill for it of $5000 a month.
“This is appalling. The state-owned company and defunct coal miner is broke, has been flogging off its assets and unable to pay creditors in full yet money is being wasted,” says Mr Peters.
PM ‘can’t recall’ request from families
“The Prime Minister is now playing tricky over his meeting with the Pike River families.
“In January the families were understandably frustrated when he refused their request to allow a camera to be dropped down a drill hole near the slimline shaft.
“But in Parliament today Mr English claimed he could not recall being asked. And he could not see why it would not have been allowed.
“It’s dreadful, bordering on contemptuous, that the PM is not being straightforward with the families of the victims. All they are asking for is a fair go. A camera down a shaft is hardly a big ask.”