25 Nov 2010

Parliament suspends business to pay tribute to miners

9:26 pm on 25 November 2010

Parliament suspended its usual business on Thursday afternoon so MPs could pay tribute to the men killed in the Pike River Coal mine.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English told the House it was a day for mourning and remembering.

Mr English said MPs' thoughts were with the families of the 29 miners in their time of immense loss.

Mr English told Parliament the men's' deaths had shocked the entire nation.

Party leaders and MPs acknowledged the men who died, their families, friends and workmates, and the West Coast communities affected by the tragedy.

Progressive's leader Jim Anderton said mining must be made safer and it was the responsibility of mining companies and Parliament to ensure the safety of miners was the number one concern.

MPs finished by singing How Great Thou Art.

A condolence book has been set up at Parliament for MPs, staff and members of the public to leave their messages of sympathy and support.