Police to release Pike River documents

Police in charge of the Pike River coal disaster say they will release documents explaining the decision to abandon their efforts, according to a lawyer for the families.



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Police in charge of the Pike River coal disaster say they will release documents explaining the decision to abandon their efforts, according to a lawyer for the families.

Yesterday Barrister Nicholas Davidson QC revealed Police Commissioner Howard Broad had said the information released would include reports as well as advice received from experts and the Mine Rescue Trust.

"For the first time, we will be able to take that material and consult with our experts," Davidson said.

Broad said he is willing to meet with the legal team to discuss the decision and says the families of the 29 families just want to be sure every effort is made to retrieve the bodies of the loved ones.

"The families are not unrealistic – they will examine this material carefully and reach a considered view whether the decision not to re-enter the mine and to seal it is the correct one," Davidson said.

He said if the families think a safe entry could be achieved, they would urge the Government, police and trust to continue their work.

"Certainly, from the commission of inquiry’s perspective, we regard it as very important to gain entry and to gain evidence."

Davidson said the families are expected to examine the material for at least a week after they receive the documents.

The mine is due to be handed back to receivers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, on 29 January.

 Pricewaterhouse Coopers said on Monday that they would continue attempts to stabilise the mine’s explosive environment for up to eight weeks.

The receivers’ comments came after police announced they were ending their recovery operation.


Yesterday John Fisk of PricewaterhouseCoopers said it could take up to two years to re-enter the mine and that the recovery of any remains would be “highly unlikely”.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the tragedy late last year is due to conclude by 31 March.


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