The fight for the truth about how and why 29 workers died in New Zealand’s 2010 Pike River coal mine disaster
On November 19, 2010, an explosion rocked the underground Pike River mine in New Zealand. After a second explosion five days later, the 29 workers underground were declared dead. This was not a random accident: it was a crime caused by capitalism. Despite overwhelming evidence that Pike River Coal’s management cut costs and endangered workers’ lives, no one has been held accountable for the actions that turned the mine into a death trap.
Pike River: The Crime and Cover-up, published in 2022, is a contribution to the ongoing fight to uncover the full truth of what happened, and to draw the political lessons of the tragedy for the working class. It contains articles and analysis from the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), examining how National and Labour Party governments, their allies, the trade unions, the judicial system and regulators have protected the company and sought to shut down the investigation into the disaster.
The main author, Tom Peters is a regular writer for the WSWS, focusing on NZ and Pacific politics and workers’ struggles. He has written extensively about Pike River since 2010. Peters is a leading member of the Socialist Equality Group in New Zealand.
This book includes contributions from Bernie Monk, whose son Michael died in Pike River mine, and from Bernie’s daughter Olivia, as well as interviews with other family members of the Pike 29. It also contains a speech by Terry Cook, a WSWS writer in Australia, about the 1994 Moura mine disaster and its aftermath, which has many similarities to Pike River.
The introduction is available to read here:
Pike River: The Crime and Cover-up