18 Jan 2017

Labour leader to speak to Pike protesters

9:56 am on 18 January 2017

Labour Party Andrew Little is heading to speak with Pike River families protesting against the sealing of the mine.

Protesters, including Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse, are sitting in at the mine.

Friends and families of the Pike River miners, including Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse, pictured here, protested the mine closure in November. Photo: Supplied

Bill English announced as the new Prime Minister of New Zealand, Paula Bennett as Deputy Prime Minister.  Andrew Little speaks to media after the announcement.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Some of the families of the 29 men who died in 2010 are picketing near the mine's entrance and are calling for its entry tunnel to be searched for bodies and evidence before Solid Energy permanently seals it.

Mr Little told Summer Report the promise made to the families was that everything would be done to recover the bodies of the men, and he did this promise had been fulfilled.

He said reports by the government and the families report on whether the mine should be re-entered appear to be at odds.

"If the two reports are so diametrically opposed, which is what the minister seemed to be saying, then I think the government ought to then commission a third genuinely independent report and let that be the decider about whether the mine is reentered or not."

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