Plans to seal off the Pike River Mine have been delayed in the leadup to the sixth anniversary of the disaster, which claimed 29 lives.
Environment Minister Nick Smith said the delay stemmed from the emotion surrounding the upcoming anniversary on Saturday.
The mine's owner, Solid Energy, is in the final stages of permanently sealing the mine, prompting some of the victims' families to stage the protest.
Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse started a sit-in blockade of the entry gates yesterday. They said the mine should not be closed until the victims' bodies were retrieved.
Some family members said gas levels inside the mine were safe enough for a re-entry.
Mr Smith rejected the claim the mine was safe to enter. He said there was a high risk of an explosion or rockfall.
He said he would meet with families in Greymouth on Wednesday evening.
Solid Energy will return the mine to the Department of Conservation (DOC) after sealing it.
DOC was wary of Solid Energy workers facing resistance from protesters, Mr Smith said.
No word from Prime Minister
Prime Minister John Key's office is refusing to comment on a blockade of the entry gates to the Pike River mine being staged by two bereaved women.
Ms Rockhouse, whose son Ben died in the explosions, said the pair were inspired by their friend, campaigner Helen Kelly, who died last month.
"We were with Helen only a few days before she died and one of last the things she said to us before we walked out the door was never give up.
"Never give up, always fight.
"She taught us that it is OK for us to fight, and we just need to keep pushing on forward as right and stand up for what is right."
Labour's MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O'Connor said the protesters felt they had not been listened to.
"The family don't want to go into the mine, they know that's a different kettle of fish altogether. They just want to identify what evidence, or indeed bodies, are in the drift."
He said the Government needed to get around the table with the families and independent experts and look at what was possible.
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse said he had been advised that methane levels beyond the temporary seal on the mine remained unsafe.
In a private meeting several years ago, Prime Minister John Key told Pike families "I'm here to give you absolute reassurance we're committed to getting the boys out, and nothing's going to change that."
He was filmed and the video was given to Newshub.
"When people try to tell you we're not, they're playing, I hate to say it, but they're playing with your emotions."