Not every Pike family feels the same.
Marion Curtin has spoken out reluctantly and occasionally – mainly, she says, to correct the record. The Christchurch retiree, whose son Richard Holling died at Pike River, is appalled re-entry went ahead.
“To me it was politically motivated before the previous election,” she says. “I objected to my son’s death being used as a political ploy.”
She backs the National Government’s “insight and knowledge” about Pike River. Having endured the Canterbury earthquakes, she says the millions of dollars spent on re-entry could have had a better use.
“I have never been shown or told anything that justified re-entry.”
Curtin can’t wrap her head around the idea of justice for Pike River. “Justice for what? There was an explosion in a coal mine.” It was an accident, she says, and nobody knows for sure what happened. Everybody involved, even company management, has suffered, she says.
“If anyone can prove to me that somebody in that mine at the time lit a match or did something that was blatantly stupid that caused the explosion then I would feel that it was a deliberate act. But if it was, that person has already paid with their life so what else do you want?”
The notion that the reentry will lead to some evidence that would be significant has always been farcical. It is almost certain the $50 million spent will result in no bodies found and no useful evidence.