15 Feb 2017

PM tells Pike River families mine won't be sealed - for now

7:04 pm on 15 February 2017

Some of the Pike River families say they have been assured by the Prime Minister the mine will remain unsealed for the time being.

Pike River

Bill English says a further extension will be required to have the mine sealed. Photo: RNZ

The families have been campaigning to stop the mine, where 29 men died, from being permanently sealed as they want it searched for any remains and evidence of what happened.

Solid Energy, which owns the mine, has been prevented from putting the final seal in place within the original timeframe, which was this month.

Worksafe has said it now has until the end of June to do so.

Sonja Rockhouse, the mother of one of the victims, Ben Rockhouse, said they met Prime Minister Bill English this afternoon and he told them a further extension would be needed to get the mine sealed.

"I asked him what time frame and when and where this would happen, and he said until things were resolved."

Ms Rockhouse said it was a partial victory but the families weren't getting their hopes up too much.

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