Pike River: Former Police Commissioner never saw video

The Police Commissioner at the time of the Pike River Mine disaster says he's never seen the robot video footage Newshub released on Sunday.

It was captured on March 15, 2011 while Howard Broad was in charge of police, and shows Mines Rescue workers in the mine's access tunnel setting the robot off on its journey down the drift.

Families of the 29 Pike River victims also say they've never seen it before, despite claims to the contrary by Prime Minister Bill English. Current Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Clement confirmed police received a copy of the footage in 2011.

Mr Broad says March of 2011 was a hectic time for him as commissioner, but he's adamant the video never came across his desk.

"There was an earthquake a couple of weeks before that footage and I'm sure there was a process after the footage was taken and reviewed and that was not raised with me," he told Newshub.

Mr Broad avoided questions on whether he still believes a re-entry of the access tunnel is unsafe.

"You'll need to talk to Police about that because that's a current question."

It was Mr Broad who broke devastating news to Pike families on Jan 13, 2011 that a recovery mission by police to retrieve bodies had been called off.

On that day, he said: "In my view it is now time to focus on the living and to respect and memorialise those men who have died".

Asked on Wednesday if the living relatives of the victims had been looked after appropriately as he promised, Mr Broad said that was no longer his responsibility.

"That's a question you're going to have to put to the current Police Commissioner because he's speaking on behalf of the police," he says.

"In my view, I think there was a tremendous amount of effort put into supporting the families through the crisis as it happened and the immediate aftermath," says Mr Broad.

Mr Broad's tenure as Police Commissioner finished on April 3, 2011 - 18 days after the footage from inside the mine's tunnel was filmed.