Pike River families meeting with Solid Energy a 'waste of time' video

JOANNE CARROLL/Stuff.co.nz

Pike River father Bernie Monk says a meeting with Solid Energy was a "waste of time".

A Pike River father says a meeting between families and Solid Energy was "a complete waste of time". 

The families of the 29 men killed in the November 2010 mine disaster will continue to protest following Solid Energy's "total refusal to discuss" re-entry of the mine drift to recover bodies and evidence.

Some family members and supporters have been protesting on the mine access road since November 12.

Bernie Monk, whose son Michael died in the mine, said the meeting was insulting.

JOANNE CARROLL/Stuff.co.nz

Solid Energy chief executive Tony King speaks after meeting Pike River families.

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"It was a complete waste of time. Solid Energy have said to us it's their way or no way," he said.

"All we're asking for for is probably two days of getting our experts around the table. We're pretty upset with the attitude in there."

We'll be at that gate, we'll be at the gates of Parliament. We'll do whatever it takes to get the justice we were ...

We'll be at that gate, we'll be at the gates of Parliament. We'll do whatever it takes to get the justice we were promised for our boys," Bernie Monk says.

He said the families and supporters would protest "now more than ever". 

"Frankly there's no point in trying to deal with this company any longer. The Prime Minister is the one who made the promise to get our boys out, and he should front up himself rather than sending his monkeys to deliver the hard word."

Monk had been told the seal already in place complied with WorkSafe conditions.

"There's absolutely no need to pour 30 metres of concrete in there. It feels like they're just doing it because they want this whole thing to go away.

"Well, we're not going away. We'll be at that gate, we'll be at the gates of Parliament. We'll do whatever it takes to get the justice we were promised for our boys," he said. 

Solid Energy chief executive Tony King said they had hoped to diffuse the situation so workers could continue to manage the site.

"We understand that emotions are high but we've set out our position," he said. 

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Some workers and contractors had agreed to pleas from the families to down tools. 

Allied Concrete confirmed it would not work at Pike River because it did not want to inflame the "emotional trauma" being caused to families.

Environment Minister Nick Smith met families recently and told them a safe re-entry was not possible because of the risk of more explosions and rockfall.  

Some family members have launched a legal challenge to WorkSafe's directive that the permanent seal must be complete by February.

 - Stuff

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