Pike River terms of reference released

The terms of reference for an investigation into whether failings by staff of the former Ministry of Economic Development contributed to the deaths of 29 men in an explosion at Pike River mine have been released today.

They were released following a damning report from a royal commission of inquiry into the tragedy that found mine bosses had placed production ahead of safety.

The report highlighted failings at the former Department of Labour, now part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Ministry chief executive David Smol called for an investigation into:

- Any actions, or inactions of individual employees connected with the issue of the mining permit and/or the discharge of health and safety functions that may have contributed to the tragedy

- Any systemic failings within the former Department of Labour and/or the former Ministry of Economic Development that may be identified as having contributed to such actions or inactions of individual employees

- Whether any such actions of inactions may warrant a formal employment investigation.

The investigation will be carried out by David Shanks from the Ministry of Social Development and another person, yet to be decided.

The investigation will provide information to Mr Smol about whether a disciplinary process should be initiated with any employee.

A final report will be delivered no later than February 28.


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