Mark Sainsbury: Pike River should form part of the coalition talks

Mark Sainsbury: Pike River should form part of the coalition talks

OPINION: It's started.  Well it's about to start, the thing I've said I won't be talking about. The coalition talks - and yes I stand by that. There's no point trying to predict the talks until the special vote results come out on Saturday. 

But there is another angle I am happy to talk about, and that's our friends on the coast, the Pike River families. We know support for efforts to get into the Pike River drift were part and parcel of the election campaign. This morning that is being symbolically reinforced by Bernie Monk and other Pike family members meeting with Winston Peters before any talks begin.

You know where I stand on this one - they have my 100 percent support and I think it's a great thing that, even before the preliminary talks begin, the gauntlet is thrown down. This is a non-negotiable part of the talks. As I have said for the past two weeks, there is no point in us speculating on what and where and how these are going to go until we see the final landscape the special votes throw up. But we can be reassured the one condition all contenders have to deal with is Pike River. It has not been forgotten or relegated to the back benches. 

More news on Pike River is the families are going to court today to appeal for a judicial review on the decision not to prosecute former boss Peter Whittall over the mine tragedy. If you remember, the deal was they dropped the prosecution and the mine company coughed up a few million dollars in compensation -  blood money, as many of the families saw it - and they want justice, not cash.

Mark Sainsbury is host of RadioLIVE's Morning Talk.