10 Mar 2011

Pike River families to each receive at least $190,000

11:45 am on 10 March 2011

Families of workers killed at the Pike River mine disaster are to receive at least $190,000, a trust has decided.

The Pike River Disaster Relief Trust raised about $7 million for the families of the 29 men killed in explosions at the West Coast mine near Greymouth last November.

The trust gave out lump-sum grants totalling $400,000 to the families before Christmas.

At a recent meeting, it decided to pay each family $190,000 and another $15,000 for every dependent child of the 29 men. The money will be paid into long-term family trusts.

Trust deputy chairperson Tim Mora says it is a great relief to make the payments and there may be a few quibbles from the families, but most should support the way it has been distributed.

Payments could be made as early as next week.

A representative of the families, Bernie Monk, says the money will go a long way to help them.

Mr Monk, whose 23-year-old son Michael Monk died, says the money is no compensation for the loss of their loved ones but will be a great help to many people who now do not have a main income.

The requirement for the money to be paid into long-term family trusts was the only fair way to do it, he believes.