A former chief British mines inspector stands by his view that it would have been possible to re-enter the Pike River mine.
The mine's owner Solid Energy yesterday announced it won't re-enter the West Coast mine to recover the remains of the men killed in 2010, saying the risk is too great and its paramount concern is that more lives should not be lost.
Mining expert and former UK chief inspector Bob Stevenson is one of three experts commissioned by the men's families to advise them.
He believed Solid Energy had made the wrong decision and was not giving the real reason.
"I believe that the decision is more based on the commercial side of things than the safety side of things that they have put out to the public.
"It is a fact that, a commercial business, there's nothing in it for Solid Energy to recover the bodies from Pike River, and I believe that's behind it."
Mr Stevenson also took issue with Solid Energy's stated view that the families' experts' attitude to risk was based on limiting the time people were exposed to danger during any recovery operation.
He said that is untrue and aimed at undermining their credibility.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the Council of Trade Unions says a successful civil case against any culpable parties in the Pike River mine disaster would be hard to achieve.
Mr Key has signalled any Pike River litigation case could be publicly funded and Crown Law will now investigate the possibility.
CTU lawyer Jeff Sissons said it would be a big challenge as several of the witnesses are in Australia, and much of the evidence is buried inside the mine.