4 Mar 2011

Parties say Govt must honour Pike River pledge

9:19 pm on 4 March 2011

Opposition parties are calling on the Government to deliver on its promise of an economic stimulus package for the West Coast to help it recover from the Pike River mine disaster.

Twenty-nine workers were killed in an explosion at the mine near Greymouth on 19 November last year.

The Government says the package, promised by the end of January, is almost finished.

The Green's list MP on the West Coast, Kevin Hague, says he is reluctant to criticise the Government while it is working so hard following a devastating earthquake in Christchurch on 22 February, but the stimulus package should have been more of a priority.

Labour's list MP on the West Coast, Damian O'Connor, says with every month that goes by, it gets harder for businesses who have lost money in the coal company's disaster.

Radio New Zealand understands the Grey District Council has asked for about $15 million to develop tourism infrastructure.

The Acting Minister for Economic Development, David Carter, says the package is a priority, but other parties need to understand how sensitive the Christchurch situation is.