The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

Does John Key stand to personally profit from open-cast coal mining in NZ?

Pike River mine ‘would be illegal in Australia’ – Key


Prime Minister John Key has defended his claims that the Pike River coal mine would be illegal in Australia.

The comment has sparked a backlash from Labour leader Phil Goff who has described it as ”an unbelievable about-face”.

The Australian newspaper reported that Key had yesterday “vowed that there would be changes to mining safety laws”.

He told the newspaper the Pike River mine, which was a single-entry uphill mine, “couldn’t have been constructed in Australia” because it would have been “illegal”.

“There will be changes in New Zealand,” Key said.

This afternoon, Key said there was a difference between construction and safety standards.

The way the mine was consented in New Zealand was probably legal here but that was for the Royal Commission of Inquiry to decide.

“It’s quite true that from a construction perspective that mine would not be consented in Australia and was consented in New Zealand. From a safety standard perspective that’s a matter for the Royal Commission to tell us.”

Key said to the best of his knowledge mines here were as safe as those in Australia.

The EPMU has said the law should be changed now if New Zealand mines were not as safe as they could be. Key said there were no current applications for consent for mines.

“We did do a review of mines in the end the Royal Commission will come back.”

In his interview with the Australian, Key repeated comments to New Zealand media that a full response on mining safety would have to wait until the conclusion of the Royal Commission into the Pike River mine disaster, which killed 29 men in November last year.

But, in an apparent departure from his comments at the time of the disaster, Key conceded that the mine could not have been operational in Australia.

In November last year, however, he said:

“I have no reason to believe that New Zealand safety standards are any less than Australia’s.”

Key has this afternoon landed in Wellington after a short trip to Canberra and Sydney. He will face questions over the comments when Parliament sits this afternoon.

Already, Goff has said the “sudden change in his position” is “quite incredible”. “Just a month ago he publicly condemned a union representative for questioning safety at the mine, accusing her of being ‘churlish and insensitive’,”

Goff said. “He also said it was ‘dangerous’ to raise concerns about safety issues when the Royal Commission of Inquiry was still under way.

Yet he is now making similar claims himself while the Commission is still under way.

” If there was any new evidence about serious safety issues in New Zealand’s mines, there should be immediate action to address those concerns, Goff said.

The Royal Commission is currently receiving written submissions and open hearings will recommence in July. ____________________________________________________________

Seen the Sunday Programme on Pike River Mine?

Hmmmm…….. seems the Pike River Mine ‘whistleblower’ was correct about safety concerns

– what else …………….?

Check out Chapter 9, pg 38,


Check out Bathurst Resources Ltd, the company which is currently applying for a resource consent for open-cast coal mining in Buller:

See ‘Resource Consent Process’ 7 June 2011

“Buller Coal Resource Consent Application Public Hearing Commences”

Who is a substantial shareholder in Bathurst Resources Ltd?

See April 29 2011 ‘Changes in substantial ownership’

The Bank of America has voting power of 7.50% in Bathurst Resources Ltd.

Remember? John Key is a shareholder in the Bank of America.          (See pg 36)

So – would John Key stand to personally profit from open cast coal-mining in the West Coast, given his shareholding in the Bank of America?

Penny Bright

June 21, 2011 - Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information

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