Employment investigation underway over Pike disaster

7:30 am on 28 November 2012

An investigation has begun into whether Labour Department staff did everything they should have when the department issued Pike River Coal with a mining permit, and whether the department monitored the mine properly.

There was criticism of the department in the Royal Commission's report into the explosion at the West Coast mine which killed 29 men in November 2010.

The report was also critical of the former Ministry of Economic Development for failing to provide adequate oversight of health and safety at the mine.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released the terms of reference for the investigation into how staff at both organisations did their jobs.