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Labour leader vows to table bill to enable Pike River re-entry


Labour leader Andrew Little has vowed to table a bill on his first day back in Parliament, to help enable the re-entry of the Pike River Mine drift.

The Labour leader has proposed a law change to allow rescue crews a chance to re-enter the drift of the mine. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Little visited the protest site where Pike supporters have been gathering daily, to make his announcement.

"The only excuse the government has given so far for not helping the families get re-entry to the drift to the mine, is that they're concerned about liability for the directors," Mr Little said.

"Well, we can fix that through legislation." 

Andrew Little says if experts gave the re-entry green light, Labour would fund it. Source: Breakfast

He said on February 7, the first day of Parliament, he'd seek leave to table a bill that would absolve those involved in recovery of responsibility.

"So that excuse is out of the way. If that's the only impediment the government has, well actually we can get that fixed."

Little said if it was rejected in Parliament, he would then put it in the private member's ballot, but it was "pure luck" when and if it was drawn.

Pike widow Anna Osborne, who lost her husband Milton in the explosion, said she felt the group's plight was gaining momentum.

"It's great the traction we have is just amazing," Ms Osborne said.

"All the support from the opposition parties is very much appreciated. We've got real traction and not just through political parties but from our nation, and that makes us want to keep going. What happened here is not right. It should never have happened. The families shouldn't have to fight for justice and truth."

The Labour announcement follows a visit from the Green Party's workplace safety spokesperson Denise Roche early this morning, and NZ First leader Winston Peters at the weekend.