Explosion not feared by ex Pike manager

7:34 pm on 17 February 2012

A former manager at the Pike River coalmine says he never feared there would be an explosion at the mine.

Peter van Rooyen, who was a manager of technical services, was giving evidence on Friday at the Royal Commission on the Pike River disaster.

Former mine employee Masaoki Nishikoa previously stated Mr van Rooyen was too scared to work underground.

But Mr van Rooyen told the hearing he was never afraid to go underground at Pike River.

He said Mr Nishikoa may have misunderstood his feelings about the mine after a conversation he had had with his wife, in which she said she was afraid of going underground.

Mr van Rooyen also told the commission that the chief executive, Peter Whittall, had a micromanagement style, which was frustrating to deal with.

He agreed with evidence given earlier in the week that there was an ingrained culture of blame at the mine.

The third phase of the Royal Commission hearings, which has focussed on what actually caused the explosions, has now concluded.

The Royal Commission will resume for a final hearing in April to consider final submissions and feedback on policy issues.