Nine Pike River executives laid off

Pike River receiver John Fisk says nine Pike River Coal executives were informed this week that they have been laid off.

He said the redundancy of mine manager Doug White had been a “mutual agreement” and that former chief executive Peter Whittall was not one of the executives laid off and is still employed with the company, according to

Since activity for the mine stabilisation has decreased, the staff are no longer required and because receivers are continually reviewing expenditure, the redundancies were one way for them to reduce their already stretched budget.

In December the receivers made 114 staff redundant, leaving 43 employed by the mine and many relocated to Australia to work, only returning to New Zealand every fortnight.

On Wednesday Pike River contractors announced their application to have Pike River liquidated.

Earlier in the week the families of the victims expressed their anger that closed-circuit footage from inside the mine was showed on local channel TVNZ before it was shown to them.

The footage showed survivors Daniel Rockhouse and Russell Smith emerging from the coal mine on November 19 following the initial devastating blast.

Spokesman for the families Bernie Monk, who lost his son Michael in the tragedy told The Press it was “terrible” the families who lost loves ones had not been shown the footage.

"We did not know these video clips existed. How many more are out there that have never been seen by the families or our legal team?" he said.

"Any disturbing stuff was supposed to be shown to the families first."

Monk has demanded an explanation from authorities and Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said he could not understand why the families were not shown the footage.

"I knew they had it.

“I heard them talking about it on the very first day," he said. "What do they have to hide?

"It’s two guys walking out. They should be celebrating it."

A police spokeswoman said yesterday that police had not released the footage to TVNZ and would not release it to the media because it was part of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.




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