The Pike River Mine site was recently handed over from the Pike River Recovery Agency to the Department of Conservation (DOC), with a number of victim family members in attendance.
Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry, Andrew Little; Minister of Police, Poto Williams and West Coast-Tasman MP, Damian O’Connor attended a small ceremony at the mine site.
DOC Director-General Penny Nelson and Agency Acting Chief Executive Michelle Wessing gave brief speeches at the handover, while Anna Osborne and Rowdy Durbridge spoke on behalf of the Stand with Pike Family Reference Group and Colin Smith on behalf of the Pike River Families Committee.
Ngati Waewae conducted a poroporoaki (farewell) on site, and families released 29 balloons in honour of the Pike 29.
As of 1 April, DOC has taken responsibility for the Crown’s relationship with the families.
The Pike River Recovery Agency is now winding down and will be disestablished on 30 June 2022.
Families Committee Chair Colin Smith addresses those gathered.
Family Reference Group Chair Anna Osborne talks to Mechanical Superintendent/Mine Maintenance Planner Liam Collins.