“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

GREYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 30: Flames burn out of control from a ventilation shaft at the Pike River Mine on November 30, 2010 in Greymouth, New Zealand. Rescue teams have been working around the clock to recover the bodies of the 29 New Zealand mine crew that lost their lives following two blasts at the Pike River Mine 50 kilometres north of Greymouth on New Zealand’s west coast. (Photo by Iain McGregor-Pool/Getty Images)

It’s still thought to be one of the most dangerous workplaces in New Zealand, and the Government has just set a date to re-enter the Pike River mine.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the formation of a new government department called Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa.

It’s intended to fulfil an election promise Labour made to the families of the Pike River men, that if in Government it would re-enter the mine to try and recover their bodies.

So that is a definite YES then. They will re-enter the mine and attempt to recover the remains.

[…] The new agency has some specific objectives and they begin with gathering more evidence to figure out what the actual cause of the explosion at Pike River mine was.

What has that got to do with re-entering the mine and recovering the bodies? What is the point of gathering evidence when a deal was made previously to drop charges against those responsible for the mine’s operations in exchange for reparation payments to the families?

[…] Ardern says the Government will work from the basis that it will re-enter the mine, unless there is sufficient evidence to prove it really shouldn’t.

So her stance is either:

A) That the National Party lied about the advice and evidence they received which led to them deciding that it was unsafe to enter the mine

B) She made the promise knowing that it would be easy to find evidence that it was unsafe to enter the mine because she knew that the previous government decision was an honest one was based on facts.

She said it was a contrast to the previous Government’s stance that the mine was not safe enough to send any one else down there […]

No, it is not a contrast. A contrast would be stating that the mine is safe to enter and that they definitely will be entering it.

Adams said the Government had “wound back its promises significantly, from both prior to the election and in recent weeks”.

“The Government is now recognising that it cannot waive health and safety laws, rush or force a re-entry.” National supported re-entry if it could be achieved safely.

So, in other words, the new boss is just like the old boss. Labour has said they will re-enter the mine if it can be achieved safely. It can’t be achieved safely so after wasting some more money on a brand new agency they will come to the exact same conclusion that the National government did.

[…] When Labour was still in Opposition, it floated it could change the workplace safety laws to allow re-entry. In Government it’s position on that appears to have changed, with Ardern and the responsible minister Andrew Little both saying they don’t believe that necessary.[…]

Of course not. They don’t actually want to make it possible to enter the mine. It is too darn dangerous and they know it.

-Politically Correct

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