Rob Fyfe signs on to help Government re-enter Pike River mine

Former Air NZ and Icebreaker chief executive Rob Fyfe has been appointed to a new role advising the Government on a planned re-entry of Pike River Mine.

The role will see Mr Fyfe provide advice to Pike River Re-Entry Minister Andrew Little, independently of the Pike River Recovery Agency.

Mr Little says he created the role as another safeguard for the families and the public.

"Appointing an independent advisor will ensure I have access to a third-party perspective and independent assurance about the adequacy of the Agency's processes," Mr Little says.

Mr Fyfe played a significant role during the 2010 Pike River disaster by providing a team of Air New Zealand's crisis management experts to support the families of the 29 men in the mine.

"His other great quality as CEO of Air New Zealand was a real empathy for those who had suffered tragedy which he shared in the aftermath of the 2008 A320 crash in France," says Mr Little

Mr Fyfe currently holds a number of directorships, including Air Canada, Michael Hill, Antarctica NZ and his former employer Icebreaker.

He led Air New Zealand for nine years from 2003 and played a significant role in rebuilding the airline following its near-collapse and taxpayer bailout in 2001.

He's worked with Mr Little before, but they were on opposing sides of numerous disputes when Mr Little was the national secretary of the EPMU and Mr Fyfe was at Air New Zealand.

Mr Fyfe will start his new job on January 31 2018.