Thursday, August 18, 2011

Smells like Cave Creek all over again

The more I observe about the Pike River explosions, the more I think back to the Cave Creek enquiry that concluded with the systemic failure cop-out.

Mary Wilson caught Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson on the hop on Checkpoint last night, asking whether National's cut in mine safety inspectors in the 1990's might not have helped safety measures at Pike River. The minister didn't want to revisit the Old History of the 1990's. After all, if she did she might have to admit her side was culpable.

John Armstrong notes the minister has relented on merely waiting for the royal commission to conclude, intending to double the number of mine inspectors (that would have given Pike River mine a whole inspectorate of two people). More intriguingly, Armstrong finishes off with a warning for John Key:

The Prime Minister's stocks rose even higher after his handling of Pike River. So far the Government has escaped blame for the tragedy.
So many man-made disasters have happened under National; Cave Creek, Leaky Homes and now Pike River. If anyone manages to sink that truth into the general public, the PM from central casting might have a few more worry lines and gray hairs to brush off in Hawaii.

It's a shame in some respects that Darren Hughes has left the building. He studied the bureaucratic loophole of Cave Creek at Vic Uni. As it is, Labour's Damien O'Connor and the Greens' Kevin Hague are fighting as well as can be expected. O'Connor might be out of favour with the Labour hierarchy, but they'd be stupid not to properly resource O'Connor's attack strategy.