Commemorative service and new partnership mark 10 years on from Pike River tragedy

Ten years ago today, 29 men were killed in the Pike River explosion. Today the anniversary is being marked with a commemorative service and a new partnership to support victims' families after tragedies.

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Twenty-nine men died after an explosion in the mine on November 19, 2010. Source: Breakfast

The Public Service Commission will be partnering with the Pike River Families and working on ways to support victims of tragedies like the mine disaster.

Two of Sonya Rockhouse's sons were in the mine. Daniel managed to escape, along with fellow survivor Russell Smith. Ben, and 28 other men, died.

Sonya says after tragedies, families can feel like they're not directly involved in the Government response.

Pike River Mine aftermath Source: 1 NEWS

"This isn't something that is done deliberately, but even the best intentioned work is often done for families rather than with them," she says.

“That's incredibly disempowering for people who have just lost their loved ones and we think there's a real opportunity to use partnership between the Government and people who have suffered tragedy to make sure that the hurt of a disaster is not compounded.”

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Tomorrow marks 10 years since the explosion that took the lives of 29 men. Source: 1 NEWS

At the site of the mine, a wreath of yellow flowers will be left to commemorate the Pike 29.

Today all Government and public buildings will fly the New Zealand flag at half-mast to mark 10 years since the tragedy.

A commemorative service is being held at Parliament, including a moment of silence at 3.44pm - the time of the explosion on November 19, 2010.

Families of the Pike River victims will be attending along with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister for Pike Re-entry Andrew Little, Grey District Council Mayor Tania Gibson and the Australian High Commissioner and British Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand.

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They’ve reached a point in the drift that hasn’t been explored since the deadly explosion in 2010. Source: 1 NEWS

The service will be streamed live on and the 1 NEWS Facebook page.

It is scheduled to begin at 3.10pm.