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Pike River mine safe to re-enter: Peters

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/05/2017

Mines Rescue staff prepare to enter Pike River mine on June 28, 2011 in Greymouth, New Zealand. © Getty Images Mines Rescue staff prepare to enter Pike River mine on June 28, 2011 in Greymouth, New Zealand. NZ First leader Winston Peters has produced a photo in parliament which he says shows workers 400 metres into the Pike River mine drift.

Mr Peters says that means the mine can be safely re-entered, although he did not say when the photo was taken.

Environment Minister Nick Smith has previously confirmed that workers went 170m into the drift when the seal was built.

"A photograph supplied to New Zealand First and presented to parliament today proves workers have safely reached 400 metres up the tunnel," Mr Peters said in a statement.

"How then can the minister, who is responsible for Pike River for the government, continue to say it is too risky for a well-equipped team to enter the tunnel and travel to the end, as the families of the victims wish?"

State-owned Solid Energy, the mine's owner, says it isn't safe to enter.

The company and the government are working on entry by a modern, remote-controlled robot.

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