Pike River: The Crime and Cover-Up


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 (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 articlesand 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 an article on the tenth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake; and a speech by Terry Cook, a WSWS writer in Australia, about the lessons of the 1994 Moura mine disaster, which has many similarities to Pike River. Novelist Fiona Kidman, a supporter of the Pike River victims’ families says: “Tom Peters has shed a light on the chaos that has followed the Pike River mining disaster over the past 11 years, writing in incisive, intelligent, deeply researched prose. I greatly respect his commitment to the truth of this matter.”

This product is unavailable