Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pike River Mine! A Victim of Reganomics or Rogeronomics?

Pike River Mine! A Victim of Reganomics or Rogeronomics?

New Zealand is a fairly advanced country with a strong mining community.

Four days ago a blast happened at Pike River Mine. Since then no one was allowed to be anywhere near the mine. All we have heard was profit oriented ‘spin’. During these tragic days, no one has conducted a realistic investigation and took a pragmatic decision.

Neighboring Australia is worst! This country is full of notorious spin doctors and lacks media outlets. They have conducted a few Dixie Dorothy interviews with no substance and in short they kept us in total darkness!!

Why is it so? Is it because of Reganomics or Rogeronomics?

During the 80s Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Pierre Trudeau, Bob Hawke and Roger Douglas ventured out to weaken the union movements and strengthen the big corporations. Consequently, the Duty of Care Provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Acts were compromised in many countries including Australia and New Zealand.

Today, I would like to ask about the culture and practice of the Duty of Care Provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Acts or lack of it in this tragedy.

Did anyone cut the corner to maximise the profit and bungles continued to cover up these anomalies?


Public invited to share thoughts with New Zealand miners' families


Family, friends and work colleagues comfort each other near the mine site. Picture: Mark Mitchell / New Zealand Herald Source: Supplied


Families are becoming more anxious with each passing day, with rescue efforts hampered by toxic gas. Picture: Mark Mitchell / New Zealand Herald Source: Supplied

AS hopes fade for the 29 trapped miners in New Zealand, messages of hope and support continue to pour in for their anxious families.

For Pip Timms, mother of Jason Dunbar, the youngest of the 29 miners, it's been an incredibly difficult time waiting for news from the Pike River Mine as she prepares herself for the worst.

"Friday night was the turning point for me. When I saw the shaft bent over the way it was ... I just thought 'nah'. Because of my understanding of it ... I knew that it was a pretty extensive, big blast."

Ms Timms's partner, brother-in-law and nephew all work in the mines, in a part of New Zealand where other job opportunities are scarce.

"His first goal was to get there and he did that and then his next goal, which he spoke to me about last week, was to go to Australia" where there is big money to be made in mining on the back of a Chinese-led resources boom.

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The teenagers' family joins others, including Australians Josh Ufer's and Willy Joynson's, in an anxious wait for news of their loves ones.

The Beaconsfield miners have shared their hopes that the men in the Pike River mine will be rescued, adding they understood the reasoning for not sending rescuers into a potentially dangerous environment.

"They put Todd and I in that position and we said, 'No, no, don't anyone risk their lives to get us out'," said Brant Webb. "We were a bit shit scared that if a rescuer died they wouldn't come for us. They could've probably had us out within the first few hours, but you don't want people risking their lives."

For the many family members currently waiting in limbo to see if their loved ones will be coming home alive it's an agonising process.

Last night, Stanley Joynson was on his way to New Zealand to maintain a vigil for his brother.

In a tragic twist, Mr Joynson and his wife Kim were getting ready to return to Queensland.

The couple's photo albums and other personal items had already been shipped across the Tasman.

Share your thoughts and feelings with the miner's families by making a comment below.

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