Pike River Mine: The women still bonded by tragedy a decade on

Bonded by tragedy, Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse say they are as close as sisters. 

Together they've fought for truth and justice after their men were killed in the Pike River Mine tragedy 10 years ago. 

As Newshub begins its coverage of Thursday's anniversary, we caught up with the pair who say they will never give up. 

A kinship born out of tragedy

Matching tattoos illustrate Rockhouse and Osborne's unbreakable friendship.

"We've got the yin and the yang," Rockhouse tells Newshub.

Rockhouse's 21-year-old son Ben and Osbourne's Husband Milton were killed in the 2010 Pike River mine explosion. 

"I get really down and very emotional, and I can give Sonya a call and she'll say 'it's OK mate, it's OK', and I will pour my heart out to her over the phone and she will lift me up and build me back to where I need to be - because I've felt like pulling out a few times," Osbourne says.

"One picks the other up when we're down," Rockhouse adds. "Better than a marriage really," she jokes.

The dynamic pair have fought for truth and justice for 10 years. 

In 2018, following the establishment of the Pike River Recovery Agency, they were able to make a short journey up the mine's portal - a milestone moment for the duo. 

But Pike River hasn't been their only fight. Rockhouse has been supporting Osbourne throughout her battle with cancer, often sitting at her hospital bedside for hours at a time and when she was up to it, going to their special spot at Christchurch's Hagley Park. 

"I just kept saying to her - 'we just have too much to do, you are not going anywhere,'" Rockhouse says. "I think that would've probably finished me off if anything had happened to her."

That support is only cementing their friendship further. 

"We'll always be the best of mates," says Rockhouse. 

"She's like my sister - there's nothing she doesn't know about me and vice versa. We trust each other implicitly."