Pike River commissioners costing $1 million

The New Zealand government will pay almost $1 million in fees to the three commissioners investigating the Pike River Coal tragedy.

Local media is reporting that $8.8 million has been budgeted to cover the costs for the Royal Commission of Inquiry which is set to start on 11 July.

According to Department of Internal Affairs figures, the costs include $952 000 in fees for chairman Justice Graham Pankhurst, Queensland mine-safety commissioner Stewart Bell and the former commissioner of Inland Revenue, David Henry.

Operating costs are between $5.4m and $2.5m has been budgeted for family and workers’ support.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry has already had preliminary hearings before the first of the four phases begins.

The families of the victims have expressed their belief that the 15 week inquiry is not long enough to adequately investigate the tragedy.

Phase one hearings start on July 11 and conclude on July 22, with phase two scheduled for September 5 to September 23.

The two remaining phases are yet to be scheduled but the commissioners are expected to report their findings by March 31.

Image: stuff.co.nz
 

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