Pike River report to be released today

New Zealand's prime minister John Key has labelled the report into the Pike River mining tragedy 'sobering'.

The Royal Commission's report, and the NZ Government's response, will be released this afternoon, with expectations that the government will adopt all but one of its 16 recommendations, stuff.co.nz reports.

The report comes close to two years after the air in the Pike River underground mine ignited, causing a series of deadly explosions that took the lives of 29 miners.

It will provoke a massive upheaval in New Zealand's mining safety regulations, and is predicted to attack not only the mine's management but also governmental oversights.

Late last month the former head of the mine, Peter Whittall faced court over charges that his company failed to ensure a safe work place.

Whittall's charges include allegations that he failed is his duty of care to protect workers from harm relating to methane, of poor ventilation management, and failure to mitigate explosion risk and impacts.

He pled not guilty to all charges, which drew antagonism from the families of the men lost in the Pike River mine disaster, who reportedly muttered "surprise, surprise" at the news.

Ahead of the Commission's report release, Key explained that the government would enact the "vast overwhelming bulk" of the recommendations except for one, although it declined to elaborate on the rejected recommendation.

"The report is sobering to be perfectly frank and so I think you will see some significant recommendations that the Government will adopt," he said.

It was presented on Friday to the families of the Pike River miners by ministers Gerry Brownlee and Christopher Finlayson.

“The report is the result of a very wide-ranging and comprehensive inquiry,” Finlayson said.

“It examines what happened in the Pike River mine, and also important policy questions around the mining industry, and makes recommendations as to how to avoid this kind of tragedy occurring again. This is an important milestone for the families, and it is essential that they are able to see the results of this very thorough investigation which they have patiently observed and taken part in."

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