Posted By

Tags

A grieving father awaits justice out of Pike River tragedy

Homage to grieving family on the 12th Anniversary today (November 19)

“The government has not done enough”: Bernier Monk, who lost his son in the Pike River Tragedy, poses with the visiting Fiji Indian Waitakere Seniors in Greymouth on November 3, 2022 (Photo Supplied)

Thakur Ranjit Singh
Auckland, November 19, 2022

On 3 November 2022, six Kiwi Fiji Indian members from the Waitakere Seniors Association of Auckland paid a homage visit to the Pike River Mines entrance to show respect to the people who lost their lives in the Pike river tragedy that occurred on November 19, 2010.

On that afternoon, an explosion ripped through this remote Pike River Mine on the West Coast of the South Island killing 29 men. Their bodies have not been recovered and remain entombed inside the Mine.

The Seniors who paid their respect at the Mine entrance on November 2, 2022, were Rameshwar Dutt, Latika Dutt, Thakur Ranjit Singh, Shashi Shankar Singh, Semi Shiu Shankar, Jasma Shankar. They also met Bernie Monk, a crusader seeking justice and closure for the 29 people who lost their lives in the neglect. Calling it a scandal, he has been complaining that the has swept it under the carpet.

Bernie lost his 23-year-old son in the tragedy and his body is still in the sealed mine.

The pain never goes away: Thakur Ranjit Singh with Bernie Monk who owns the Paroa hotel (Photo Supplied)

According to him, there was a gross cover-up by the authorities, He even claimed that a phone call was made from inside the mine to a family member after the first blast, which he said has since been deleted by the Police. He is critical of the government and the Police, who “are covering up the matter.” He is on a mission to go to the bottom of this and seek closure for the family.

We share photos and videos on Facebook and other platforms.

The sign of rebirth?

One incident witnessed by the six of us from our HiAce hired van should be mentioned.

As we drove from the 29 helmeted crosses beside the road towards the locked gate, suddenly from nowhere, a rabbit started running in front of the van a kilometre away from the gate.

Normally, rabbits would jump out of the way into the bush. But not this one-it continued running on the road towards the locked gate, as if trying to lead us there, and pleading for justice. We increased the speed of the van to over around 80 km an hour, and the rabbit hovered on the road and continued leading us to the locked gate with a Stop sign. It kept running inside for about a kilometre and disappeared in the bushes inside the ‘No Man’s Land.’’

The women in our group were affected and all of us were depressed wondering if that rabbit was a soul in distress, leading us and crying for justice.

I have read that because of its nocturnal lifestyle, the rabbit is linked to the Moon and the idea of rebirth as well as being a mythical creature with magical powers.

“You can ask any of us independently of this divine message for this ‘homicide’ as Bernie claims.

An unrepenting former Boss

According to a Stuff report on 19 August 2018, an unrepentant former Pike River boss Peter Whittall has horrified the dead men’s families by dismissing a looming manslaughter prosecution, saying that he has nothing to be ashamed of.

“Do I feel guilt? No. It is human nature to blame someone,” he said.

Twenty-Nine lives including 16 miners and 13 contractors perished in the Pike River Mine explosion on November 19, 2022 (Photo Supplied)

​Whittall, who has kept his head down since leaving New Zealand in 2014, revealed that he had married Angela Horne, the Pike River financial controller who alongside him had an overview of the mine’s production.

Describing himself as “very, very happily married,” the couple live in a $1.3 million lifestyle block in Wollongong, South of Sydney. Whittall runs a rest home there.

For six of us, coming from the coup land of Fiji with political instability and a wanting social justice, we thought that New Zealand was much better. But people like Bernie make us wonder.

We hope that our prayers and sympathy will go some way to heal the pain of the bereaved.

May their souls rest in peace.

Thakur Ranjit Singh is a journalist and media commentator. We were a part of the six-member team from Waitakere Seniors Association that travels around New Zealand, bringing unusual stories. He lives in Auckland.

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement