Police notes the announcement by the Government today regarding re-entry to the Pike River Mine.
Police are working closely with the Pike River Recovery Agency to support its work, including the secondment of a senior detective to the Agency who has now been in the role for several months.
Police will have a dual role regarding re-entry to the drift. This involves completion of a scene examination in relation to the original police investigation which concluded in 2013. The other role is management of any processes required on behalf of the Coroner.
As we have previously stated, the safety of our staff is paramount and Police will now undertake its own risk assessment of the re-entry plan.
This will determine whether police staff themselves will enter the mine, or if others with the necessary expertise and experience in mine environments can perform certain functions normally undertaken by police while inside the drift.
Any new evidence which is identified would be assessed to determine what, if any relevance it has to the original police investigation. We are unable to speculate about future decisions in relation to the investigation at this still very early stage.
We remain determined to do all we can to provide answers to the families from the police perspective, and we will continue to keep the families informed of our progress and work in support of the Pike River Recovery Agency.
Issued by Police Media Centre