TODAY |

Pike River families to stage silent protest for PM's visit

An upset mother who the Prime Minister allegedly insulted to Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater is expected to attend a silent protest of Pike River families in Greymouth today.

John Key arrives on the West Coast Source: 1 NEWS

Jo Hall says she is hoping to "bump into" John Key during his visit to Greymouth after an unflattering remark about her was published in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics book.

Mrs Hall's son, Judd, was the victim of the car crash which kick-started the Dirty Politics saga - he was the "feral" who Mr Slater said had "done the world a favour" by dying.

Mr Slater's website was hacked in retaliation for that comment, and speaking to a friend on Facebook, the blogger boasted that Mr Key had called him and said Mrs Hall was the same "feral f****** b**** that screams at him when he goes to Pike River meetings."

"I'm proud to be accepted as a feral but the part about the world being a better place without my son really hurt me," Mrs Hall told Radio New Zealand.

"Why John Key would get involved in that, I don't know. So I think he needs to apologise if he did do that."

Mr Hall's father Rick Durbridge was not on shift when the Pike River coalmine exploded in November 2010, but his 36-year-old Dan Herk was.

As part of his election campaign meetings in the region today, Mr Key will be at the Development West Coast offices at 1pm, where Anna Osbourne who lost her husband in the mine, is organising families to stage the silent protest.

Ms Osbourne says they won't be there to insult the Prime Minister, but they want to make sure he doesn't the plight of the Pike 29.

They had hoped he would ask to meet with them on this visit given Solid Energy's announcement last week that it is delaying the re-entry to the mine due to Health and Safety concerns.

That drew criticism from Labour's West Coast MP, Damien O'Connor, who claimed Solid Energy was delaying re-entry plans until after the election on September 20.

Mr Key is expected to announce what a spokesperson says is "a significant announcement about investment in rural regions around the country" during his visit today.