Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says while safety is her top priority, she's willing to accept there will be some risks in a Pike River re-entry attempt.
Twenty-nine men were killed in the 2010 explosion, and a paper listing the options to retrieve their bodies is being presented to Cabinet on Monday.
Ms Ardern appeared on The AM Show on Monday to discuss the way forward, and says safety will be the top priority.
"Safety is both the families' number one priority and ours," she says.
"They're really clear on that. They lost loved ones. The last thing they want off the back of this is for anyone else to be hurt."
Ms Ardern says entering the mine is something Labour has been "long committed to", but if there's advice against it she will be "open and transparent" with the Pike River families.
"We're going to give it everything we've got," she says.
"We've said that we certainly hope and believe from the evidence we've seen that it's possible.
"That's our starting point. But if we find information that seems robust and it's robust to both us and them, then we'll work through that together."
While families of the victims have seen advice that it's safe to enter the mine and have their hearts set on re-entry, Pike River widow Anna Osborne agrees with her.
"We know what it's like to lose a loved one, and it is sheer hell. We don't want anyone else to lose their lives going in to that drift to recover our men's remains."
Ms Ardern says she accepts there's a risk that something could go wrong in a re-entry attempt.
"There's going to be risk, Duncan, let's be clear on that," she says.
"It's just about whether it's an acceptable level of risk.
"There's always going to be risk. There were risks when those men went into work every single day… there will always be risk. We've got to make sure we can mitigate those risks and make it as safe as possible."