Department of Labour seeks time extension
The Department of Labour today applied for a time extension to reach decisions on whether to prosecute over the Pike River mine explosions that killed 29 miners in November 2010.
The Department is conducting an investigation under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 which provides that charges may be laid at any time within six months of an incident (section 54B). However, section 54D of the Act allows the Department to apply to the District Court to extend the six month period. The Department has applied to the District Court in Greymouth for a further six months to reach a decision on whether or not to lay charges.
“This investigation is one of the most complex ever undertaken by the Department, involving large quantities of records, complex technical issues and significant numbers of interviews,” says Lesley Haines, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Labour Group.
“The investigation team is making very good progress. However, we are determined to ensure the most thorough and detailed investigation possible.
“This application does not imply any pre-determination of the outcome of our investigation,” Ms Haines says.