Andrew Little should apologise; no one else

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

I cannot believe the hypocrisy of Andrew Little. quote.

EPMU ?National secretary Andrew Little (now a Labour MP)? told the?New Zealand Herald?on November 22? 2010 that? there was ?nothing unusual about Pike River or this mine that we?ve been particularly concerned about?.

Andrew Little?s conciliatory views toward? PRC management were echoed by Labour MP Damien O?Connor. He suggested that no one was responsible for the accident and that the? disaster was ?just one of these things that the West Coast unfortunately has had to get used to over the years?.?end quote.

Now Little is clamouring for a public apology to the Pike River families, which would presumably be made by the current government; but you can be absolutely sure that there will be plenty of digs at the previous government and their handling of the situation.

The calls for a public apology were started by Rob Fyfe, former CEO of Air New Zealand, who, quite frankly, ought to know better. His former company was found guilty of a ‘litany of lies’ over the Erebus disaster. This is not quite the same thing.

Simon Bridges says that no apology to the families is required. quote.

“In terms of the re-entry of the mine, we wanted to do it, but the advice was universal and clear that it wasn’t the thing to do.

“If he (Mr Little) has different information, that is good, I’m not against that but safety must be at the front of this,” Mr Bridges said.

However the head of the Pike River Families Group Committee, Carol Rose, said while the previous National government took steps to change health and safety regulations, it did nothing to bring the bodies of the 29 men home.

“I was a little bit offended to hear him talking about the legacy to those 29 men. We felt the National government did everything they could do to prevent the reclamation of the drift and the recovery of any of the bodies.

“The families have not only been let down, it’s every worker in New Zealand that has been let down by that National government. It’s about every New Zealander having the confidence that the government of the day will do its best to keep everybody safe in the workplace and if things do go wrong, they’ll do everything they can to find out what happened, why it happened and how they’ll stop it from happening again,” she said. end quote.

She is ‘offended’. Precious little petal. I am offended by the political grandstanding going on here. The miners’ families are being used as political footballs to kick at the former government.

Coasters are Labour people through and through, so it all has to be the fault of the National government even though the advice given at the time was that it was not safe to re-enter the mine.

Speaking of apologies – here is another one that needs to be made:

Image credit: Boondecker

Let us wait for the rockfall in the mine to be blasted open and the ‘crime scene’ examined before we start jumping to conclusions about cover-ups and ‘accountability’.

From where I stand, EPMU played their part in that disaster by not taking the safety concerns of the workers seriously at the time. If anyone should be apologising, it should be Andrew Little, the former National Secretary of EPMU, himself.