16 Feb 2012

Ingrained culture of blame at mine

6:07 am on 16 February 2012

The Royal Commission investigating the Pike River disaster has been told the coal mine had an ingrained blame culture.

The statement was made by the mine's general manager at the time of the fatal explosions, at the end of two days of evidence.

Doug White told the Royal Commission on Wednesday that when he arrived at the mine in early 2010, there was a strong blame culture.

The mine was under heavy financial pressure because it was already more than a year behind schedule and had spent its budget twice over for tunnelling.

Mr White said instead of a search for a remedy whenever something went wrong, it was always someone's fault.

A personal email Mr White wrote days before the disaster suggests he saw the culture as emanating from chief executive, Peter Whittall.