New book raises more questions over Pike River disaster

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By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand)

The Socialist Equality Group in New Zealand and the World Socialist Web Site will hold an online public meeting on Saturday, June 4, at 5pm NZ time, to launch the new book Pike River: The Crime and Cover-up, published by Mehring Books.

On November 19, 2010, an explosion tore through the underground Pike River coal mine on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. After a second explosion five days later, the 29 workers underground were declared dead.

This was not a random accident: it was a crime caused by capitalism. However, despite overwhelming evidence that Pike River Coal placed profit and production ahead of workers’ lives, more than 11 years later no one has been held accountable for turning the mine into a death trap.

At this public meeting, Tom Peters, the main author of Pike River: The Crime and Cover-up, will speak about the causes of the disaster and the ongoing fight to uncover the full truth about what happened.

Peters will explain how successive National and Labour Party-led governments have worked with the trade unions, state regulators and the judicial system, to prevent a full investigation into the disaster, and to protect the company management and owners.

Last year, Jacinda Ardern’s government permanently sealed the mine, refusing to retrieve human remains and vital evidence in the mine workings. The decision was opposed by the majority of the victims’ families and by international mining experts.

This meeting will also be addressed by members of the Socialist Equality Parties in Britain and Australia. The speakers will examine the global parallels with Pike River, and how capitalist governments everywhere have rigged the justice system in favour of the rich and big business.

We urge workers, students and WSWS readers to attend and join the discussion about these vital issues, share this meeting notice on social media, and invite others to attend.

To attend, please register for the webinar via this Zoom link:

Times for this meeting:
New Zealand: June 4, 5PM
London: June 4, 6AM 
Sydney: June 4, 3PM.
Colombo: June 4, 10:30AM
New York: June 4, 1AM

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