Police release second batch of robot footage taken inside the mine to the Pike Families

Police have delivered a hard drive to the families of the Pike River 29 as part of an agreement to make all footage taken inside the mine available to them.

The footage was hand delivered this morning to Sonya Rockhouse, who lost her 21-year-old son Ben in the explosion.

This second release is in response to her Official Information request. Last week police released footage from the fourth robot to enter the mine.

The families deny that they were ever shown the footage, but police maintain 24 family members viewed eight hours of it in July 2011.

Sonya Rockhouse said, "I feel disappointment again, I thought this week they would finally release all of the footage to us. Why on earth is it taking so long?"

Police indicated last week they have until May 22 to release all of the video they hold, and the delays are due to the volume of video, privacy, and suppressions imposed during the Royal Commission.

The families haven't had time to watch all of the footage yet, but it includes video filmed by two army robots that entered the mine tunnel following the explosion.

Sonya Rockhouse has watched half an hour of it so far and said, "It shows the conveyor belt travelling right down inside the tunnel, which is amazingly clear, but there is one part of the belt where the metal appears bent".

Solid Energy released a statement saying today it "utterly rejected" claims were involved in any alleged cover-up of the footage". 

Solid Energy Board Chair Andy Coupe said the mine was not owned by Solid Energy at the time, and the company had "absolutely nothing to hide". 

He said there was nothing in the footage to show the mine was safe for re-entry. 

"Nobody, let alone media, politicians or other commentators with no mining expertise, can credibly assert from this footage that it proves that re-entry into the drift, let alone the mine itself, could be safely undertaken". 

The footage now has to be distributed to other family members.

On 19 November, 2010, 29 people died after an explosion at the West Coast mine.

Police released 13 hours of robot footage today that was partially leaked at the start of the week. Source: 1 NEWS



Wellingtonians to get their own version of world's most famous game - Monopoly!

In the coming months Wellingtonians will get to vote on what streets and city icons will take the top spots in the Capital's own edition of Monopoly.

Today it's been announced the Capital will get it's very own version of the game, set to be released later this year.

It will become the second New Zealand city to have its own edition of the game after an Auckland edition was released in 2013.

But before players can roll the dice, the game makers are giving fans the chance to vote on what landmarks they want to see on the board.

Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester and Mr Monopoly roll the dice to announce the new Wellington addition of the game.
Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester and Mr Monopoly roll the dice to announce the new Wellington addition of the game. Source: Supplied

"As New Zealand's capital, Wellington deserves to be recognised in the world's more famous games," said Wellington's Mayor, Justin Lester this morning.

From today until August 15 Wellington Monopoly enthusiasts are able to head to the Facebook page to suggest places they want to take the prized blue Mayfair position on the board. 

This morning Mr Lester nominated Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour) as his bid for the top spot.

The two most popular streets or landmarks will take the most expensive spots on the board, replacing the original version's Mayfair and Park Lane positions.

The new game will also feature a Wellington themed "community chest" and "chance" playing cards.

"We are looking forward to receiving input from fans far and wide, so we can ensure Wellington Monopoly is a true reflection of all that we love about the capital," said Winning Moves managing director, Reid Herbert.

The company will manufacture the official Wellington version of Monopoly under license secured from Hasbro, and it will be available to be purchased from November.

Mr Monopoly sits in Wellington's iconic Cable Car... will it make it onto the capital's edition of the game?
Mr Monopoly sits in Wellington's iconic Cable Car... will it make it onto the capital's edition of the game? Source: Supplied


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Road safety expert 'extremely concerned' over pedestrian deaths from technology distractions

Pedestrian deaths on New Zealand roads are nearly double what they were this time last year (with 15 deaths from Jan 1) and distracting technology is playing a major role, according to a road safety expert.

Caroline Perry, from road safety charity Brake, says both drivers and pedestrians are being distracted by their smart phones and other technology.

She told TVNZ1's Breakfast today: "It's alarming and we are extremely concerned by it (the rise in numbers) and it is of course devastating for the families affected by it."

"There is a lot that we need to do in terms of addressing safety for people out on foot and bike."

While the causes of pedestrian deaths this year are still being investigated Ms Perry sees a worrying trend from previous data.

"In terms of distractions, it certainly seems to be an increasing trend we are seeing amongst road crashes generally, there is the risk of us being so connected to our smart phones and all the other technology that distractions are increasing."

Although smart phones are the main culprit, Ms Perry says the extra technology in new cars is also a factor.

"We want vehicle manufacturers to be aware of this and some of them are doing work to ensure what they are putting in the vehicle's isn't a distraction.

"But there is that risk that the more you put technology in place and have more buttons to push to access certain screens the more drivers will be distracted."

Ms Brake's message to distracted drivers comes at the beginning of the UN's global road safety awareness week.

Pedestrian deaths are nearly double what they were this time last year and technology is playing a major role says Caroline Perry from road safety charity Brake. Source: Breakfast