Little doesn’t understand BIMs

The Herald reports:

The three expert reports supplied to the Pike River families for a manned re-entry into the mine’s drift do not fully take into account cost or risk, according to the briefing to the incoming minister.

Some of the mine deficiencies identified in the briefing are information gaps and structural problems that could lead to a risk of asphyxiation or roof collapse, which Solid Energy believed could not be adequately mitigated.

But Pike River Minister Andrew Little says he has more updated information since the briefing that leads him to believe that the prospects for re-entry have improved, adding that the briefing reflected the different political values of the last Government.

“These BIMs are prepared by the previous Government. They really probably suit a set of political circumstances and values that prevailed at that time.

This shows a lack of even the most basic knowledge of BIMs. The previous Government plays zero role in preparing them. Public servants prepare the BIMs with no input from Ministers former or present.

Little is just upset that the advice doesn’t suit him.

Little said the briefing did not “reflect the information I’ve seen more recently”.

“I’ve seen the BIM. But I’ve seen the advice that has been coming to me since … The indications are that it is technically feasible and increasingly physically feasible.”

The briefing, from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, outlined Solid Energy’s position that manned re-entry was technically feasible, but the risks could not be adequately mitigated.

I don’t know anyone who has said it is not technically or physically feasible. The issue is about how risky it is, not whether it can be done. His comments are a red herring.

It said some of the obstacles were the crippled integrity of existing roof and wall supports, a lack of full information about the mine’s structure, and the risk of rockfall from strata failure, such as a roof collapse.

The mine had 234 identified hazards that could lead to the mine filling with air that is not breathable, flooding with accumulated water in the mine workings, or exploding from an ignition of flammable gas.

Solid Energy noted that a failure of just one of over 600 controls could lead to injury or entrapment.

It is still Winston’s position that he insists he must be the first one to enter the mine?

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