6 Dec 2010

Christchurch remembers lost miners

4:46 pm on 6 December 2010

Hundreds gathered in Christchurch on Monday to remember the 29 miners killed in the Pike River disaster.

An afternoon memorial service in Christchurch Cathedral was attended by many of the miners families, along with representatives of clergy, local councils and iwi.

Ngai Tahu Trust chairman, Sir Tipene O'Regan, mourned the loss, but warned the public against allowing the inquiry into the tragedy to become a witchhunt.

"Clearly there must be examination and inquiry. Responsibility should be accorded, yes, but let us do it like grown up human beings rather than like a bunch of baying hounds."

Sir Tipene says New Zealanders need to keep in mind that everyone did everything they could to avoid the disaster.

The service also featured tributes from Christchurch mayor Bob Parker and Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn.

Mr Parker says the memorial was a chance for those who couldn't make it to the national service in Greymouth last Thursday.

He says there are about 20,000 people from the West Coast in Christchurch.

The one-and-a-half hour memorial service was broadcast into Cathedral Square.