28 Apr 2011

$11m bill for Pike River operation

6:30 am on 28 April 2011

Police say no services will be cut because of the Pike River rescue and recovery operation, which has cost nearly $11 million to date.

Twenty-nine men were killed following a series of explosions which began on 19 November last year in the mine near Greymouth.

Police on Tuesday revealed the costs after receiving a number of requests about the operation.

By 19 April, 232 invoices from suppliers had been received, totalling $10,916,871, with about six invoices to come.

Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations Grant Nichols says the money will come out of the $441 million police received this year for primary response management.

Mr Nichols says that the cost of the Pike River operation represents value for money.

"Our focus was right from the outset to rescue those 29 missing men. You can't put a dollar value on life - we didn't - and we made every effort to rescue those missing men."

The GAG machine, a modified jet engine used to stabilise the mine's atmosphere, and its support equipment cost $967,964.

Staff associated with the machine's operation cost $2,468,584, while fuel was $1,215,000.

The drilling of boreholes into the damaged mine cost $429,177.

Transport costs included rental cars at $89,476, while flights totalled $143,672.

Other costs such as catering, printing and stationery amounted to $733,591.