The Government has paid no compensation to the families of the victims of the Pike River mine disaster, their lawyer, Nick Davidson QC, says.
This was in spite of apologies from the Government and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment over their contribution to the tragedy, he said.
“Nothing has been paid by the Government [to Pike victims]. Not at all.”
In comparison, Davidson said the Government paid out-of-court settlements over another West Coast disaster, Cave Creek, near Punakaiki.
In that case, the Department of Conservation was found to have acted illegally and negligently after the viewing platform collapsed on April 28, 1995, killing 13 Tai Poutini Polytech outdoor recreation students and a DOC manager, and injuring four other students.
The two cases are not comparable.
DOC was the owner of and responsible for the Cave Creek platform.
The Pike River company was the owner of the Pike River mine and responsible for the mine safety. The court has found they were at fault.
I have huge sympathy for the families of the Pike River victims. However I do not believe it would be a good precedent to have taxpayers responsible for the failings of private companies.