Pike River Mine re-entry discussions open to public for the first time

For the first time, members of the public have been invited to hear discussions about the re-entry into the Pike River Mine.

Technical mining experts are in Greymouth for the next fortnight discussing plans to re-enter the drift. 

"We're now getting down into the nitty-gritty, I suppose," Pike River Recovery Agency (PPRA) chief operating officer Dinghy Pattinson says.

"We look at every task, we look at the risks with each task, and what the controls are we need to put in place to address those risks."

It's a new tack from officials and progress for the families who are keen to know what really happened inside the mine in November 2010.

Transparency is something the families have been asking for all along. Family spokesperson Anna Osbourne says this is something that should have happened years ago.

"Not being a mining expert, of course, and not knowing a hell of a lot about things, I've just realised how technical and how involved it is to do the job at hand," she says.

"I also feel quite angry because this should have been done seven, eight years ago."

The PPRA has reached the stage where they are determining the risks and the safest options to enter into the drift to search for evidence for what they now see as crime scene.

"We want to be open and transparent - the public and the families have got a big interest in this," Mr Pattinson says.

"That's one of the areas where the families feel they've been let down in the past, is being involved in it and everyone being open and honest with them," Mr Pattinson says. 

The PRRA will put a recommendation to Pike River Minister Andrew Little by the end of the month as to whether or not to go ahead with the re-entry.