11 Nov 2011

'Unbelievable' bodies not recovered a year on

10:00 pm on 11 November 2011

Nearly a year on from the Pike River disaster, a former safety manager at the mine whose son died in the disaster says it is gut-wrenching that the victims' bodies have yet to be recovered.

Neville Rockhouse says it is unbelievable that in the 21st century, with modern mining technology and knowhow, it still seems impossible to recover the 29 bodies or get further than 170 metres into the mine.

He says the delays and disruptions to plans to get into the mine are unacceptable.

Mr Rockhouse says it is a sad indictment of corporate New Zealand.

"It comes back to dollars and cents - not so much from the Government but from leading shareholders like New Zealand Oil & Gas who have failed to front up or delayed supplying receivers with sufficient funds to do what needs to be done."

Mr Rockhouse says he has been called as a witness for phase three of the Royal Commission on the disaster, which resumes in Greymouth on Monday.