12 Dec 2012

Govt releases plan to implement Pike River report

9:19 pm on 12 December 2012

The Government has released a plan for implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine disaster.

The Royal Commission issued a scathing report last month about the explosions that killed 29 men at Pike River on 19 November 2010.

It found the then Labour Department failed to properly monitor safety at the mine and recommended sweeping changes, including a new dedicated health and safety agency.

A statement from Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and acting Labour Minister Chris Finlayson says the implementation plan sets out in detail the action already taken on each of the 16 recommendations. It also establishes the remaining steps.

Mr Finlayson says the Royal Commission's recommendations have implications for health and safety standards throughout the country.

"Quite frankly, health and safety in this country needs to lift its game and so the Royal Commission focused obviously on the Pike River tragedy but it has much broader implications and I see many of those recommendations being general as well as specific."

Mr Finlayson says he gave the Pike River families an undertaking that the recommendations would be implemented by the end of 2013.

The Prime Minister is due to meet privately in Greymouth on Thursday with some of the families.