'This can be done' - Pike River victim's father on re-entering mine

Bernie Monk
Bernie Monk

The father of one of the Pike River mine victims is to have another crack at convincing the Government to send a team down the drift.

Bernie Monk, whose son Michael was one of the 29 who died in the 2010 tragedy, says latest tests show the gas levels are now a lot better at the mine.

After a media screening of a docudrama to air on television later this month, Mr Monk confirmed to Newshub he's writing to the Government one more time on the issue.

"They've done tests on the gas, and I think we should really go and have another look at that - and I'll be putting pen to paper to the powers that be in the next day or so we can get around the table," he said.

"I'll be approaching my spokesperson to the Prime Minister, and I'll be releasing a letter to the media in due course."

The test results on the gas levels in the Pike River Mine were released just two weeks ago, Mr Monk says - and he believes they make it clear it's safe enough to re-enter the mine's  drift.

"We certainly can [give it another go], and a lot of the men up there feel the same way. I've talked to a number of our experts overseas again, and they think it's diabolical that they're putting that seal in without even having had a look at this again."

He says he's hopeful that the Government are willing to hear differing points of view on the safety of the mine.

"Let's get round the table - all we've been put in front of is people from Australia who've tried to stop us doing it, when we've got people from the West Coast and the UK that are prepared to do it," he said.

"This can be done, but you've got to get around the powers that be to make sure we revisit this."

On the docudrama about the Pike River Mine tragedy, which he attended a preview screening of on Monday morning, Mr Monk said it was "a great illustration" of what the victims and their families had to suffer through.

"I think it gives real coverage for New Zealand to understand what we've been through and why we've fought such a big battle," he said.

"The best thing that we get from it is that people will understand how legislation let us down, how the Labour Department let us down, and how a company can try and get around the rules."

Pike River will be screened on free-to-air television later this month.