The decision to re-enter the Pike River Mine must remain a health and safety one which does not put further lives at risk, National’s Pike River Re-Entry spokesperson Chris Finlayson says.

“Everyone would like to see the bodies recovered but it’s always been a safety issue – never a political one.

“And the expert advice has always been that to re-enter the mine would put further lives at risk. That wasn’t an acceptable risk then and until the advice says otherwise it’s not an acceptable risk now.

“The Government has appointed a panel of experts to take another look at re-entry. Andrew Little should let them do their job without trying to influence their decision.”

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