17 Nov 2011

Relatives want politics kept out of Pike River memorial

9:02 am on 17 November 2011

The organisers of a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the Pike River disaster are working to ensure the day remains non-political.

A service will be held at Rugby Park in Greymouth on Saturday in remembrance of the 29 men who died at the West Coast mine.

The remains of the men have still not been recovered.

Organising committee chair, Anglican Archdeacon Robin Kingston, says political party leaders John Key, Phil Goff and Russel Norman are likely to be seated on stage but will not give speeches.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says the families do not want politicians on stage, other than Mr Key in his role as Prime Minister.

"This is a day that we go and help the families grieve through this long-running saga, that's still going, where the 29 miners are still under the Paparoa mountains," he says.

"Let's remember them for what they contributed to our region."

He says details of the service will be finalised at a meeting on Thursday and the families' wishes will be adhered to.