Pike River Assistance

John Hartevelt reports:

Financial help for legal costs will be extended to all 150 miners and contractors who were employed when 29 men died at the mine last year.

Prime Minister John Key said surviving miners and contractors would have a crucial role in the Royal Commission of Inquiry. The Government had agreed to cover their legal costs.

Cabinet had already agreed to provide legal assistance to the families of those who died at the Pike River mine.

Today’s announcement was over and above that because it extended legal assistance to some of the 150 workers and contractors who might be required to contribute to the Royal Commission.

I doubt many would disagree with this decision. Generally I would not expect those who don’t face potential liability or criticism to need legal assistance or representation at the Royal Commission, but it would be harsh to make surviving miners etc pay for their own legal assistance.