20 Nov 2013

Govt defends not paying Pike families compo

9:14 pm on 20 November 2013

The Government has again been forced to defend its decision not to pay compensation to the families of the 29 men killed in Pike River mine disaster in 2010.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe used Question Time in Parliament on Wednesday to renew his criticism of the Government for its decision not to step in and pay the $3.4 million awarded to the families by a court in July this year.

Mr Cunliffe asked Acting Prime Minister Bill English whether the Government could recover any of the money from Pike River's corporate owners.

Mr English said there was no legal mechanism to do that. He said the Pike River families had received about $5 million from the Accident Compensation Corporation, with longer term support likely to amount to about $20 million.

Mr English told the House it was about equal treatment and challenged Mr Cunliffe to find a family who had lost someone in a workplace tragedy that should get less than the Pike River families.