Pike River mine site being handed to Dept of Conservation

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The Pike River mine site is being handed over to the Department of Conservation (DOC), more than 12 years after the mining disaster claimed the lives of 29 men.

The agency mining team puts a barrier 5m in front of the mine portal.

Pike River re-entry in 2019: a barrier is placed in front of the mine portal. Photo: Pike River Recovery Agency / Supplied

From today, the land becomes part of the Paparoa National Park, with DOC the point of contact for the families on all matters relating to Pike River as it takes over guardianship of the mine site.

In an update to families, Pike River Recovery Agency acting chief executive Michelle Wessing said rehabilitation work of the mine site was being completed this week before the handover.

An informal gathering was held at the mine site last Friday where Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little presented DOC director general Penny Nelson with a pounamu and yellow balloons were released for the 29 miners who lost their lives.

The Pike River Recovery Agency will be disestablished on 30 June, with its Greymouth office closing when the lease expires later this month.

The agency was formed in January 2018 to determine why the 29 men died in a series of explosions in November 2010 and to provide evidence for the police’s criminal investigation.

The outcome of the police investigation is expected later this year.

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