17 Dec 2016

Pike River protesters warned to move off road to mine

5:49 pm on 17 December 2016

Protesting Pike River families are remaining defiant, despite a warning from Solid Energy they need to move off the road leading to the mine.

A makeshift checkpoint set up on the road to Pike River Mine by some of the families of the 29 men who died.

A makeshift checkpoint set up on the road to Pike River Mine by some of the families of the 29 men who died. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

Some of the families of the 29 men who died in the disaster six years ago have been blocking the road in protest at plans to seal the shaft

They want an examination of its main entry tunnel, saying it may provide clues as to what caused it to explode.

Spokesperson Bernie Monk said the owner of the access road has been reminded by Solid Energy that he signed an agreement granting it access to the mine.

Mr Monk said he appreciated this put the landowner, Colin van der Geest, in a difficult position.

"Understandably, he doesn't want to get mixed up in all this, and I've always said to Colin 'listen, we'll stand by whatever you say', and he's stated he doesn't want his company pulled through the coals over this and we honour that."

Mr Monk said until their lawyer told them they needed to step aside, the road block would remain.

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