Mike's Minute: Pike River exposed as a political tool

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Jun 2020, 9:39AM

Mike's Minute: Pike River exposed as a political tool

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Jun 2020, 9:39AM

COMMENT:

So the day of reckoning, or at least a day of reckoning, has arrived. The jig is up.

Andrew Little, the Minister in charge of Pike River, fronts the appropriate select committee and reveals what most of us had worked out well before they ever entered the mine.

The retrieval of bodies is no longer practical. The simple truth, a decade on, is that the retrieval of remains was never practical.

Little perpetrates the con a little further by suggesting that the main reason they are still there, apart from perceived political gain, is to gather evidence for the crime committed.

If it needs to be stated, let me state it again, there is no evidence, there will be no evidence, and there will be no charges. I called it in the CTV Building destroyed in the Christchurch earthquake, I call it on Pike River.

Families who are angry, and rightly so, who want vengeance, justice, or a bit of both, all have good arguments and much emotion behind the cause. But that does not a case or charges make, or indeed anywhere close.

The Labour Party should be ashamed of themselves. They took a tragedy, saw a political gap, and leapt on it.

The previous National government did what any logical, sensible, and adult government would have done, all they could. Short of making up stories and promising false hope like the current lot have.

They consulted experts, the experts said it was too dangerous and too big a risk. The Labour Party promised the world. Winston Peters chimed in equally as opportunistically and promised to be one of the first down the shaft.

Millions has been spent, budgets have been blown - and now the cold hard truth. There will be no bodies. The families asked for and were granted by the Labour Party their loved ones back, but it won't be happening.

But the con is, it never was. The families were used for political gain, and cheap violin string headlines.

Most of them won't admit it, I don't think because they all seem enamoured with the Labour Party. This was as much about being against the last government as it was about a rescue.

But the facts don't lie. Are bodies coming out? No. Were they ever? No.
Will there be evidence? No. Will there be charges? No.

So what has been achieved apart from a whole new department being created and millions spent for the admission from Andrew Little that was always coming?

It was only a matter of time.