Government hunts for people to go down Pike River mine

The government is officially on the hunt for a contractor to re-enter Pike River mine.

A tender has been placed on the government's procurement website looking for a company to undertake a "manned recovery" of the mine.

Sonya Rockhouse, whose 21-year-old son Ben was killed in the 2010 mining tragedy, says she never thought she'd see the day a government was actively looking for someone to go into the mine.

"A manned recovery. Wow," she said. "Awesome. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic."

"It just shows that they are pushing forward."

There are three purposes of the mission outlined for interested companies.

  • Gather evidence to better understand what happened in 2010 with an eye to preventing future mining tragedies

  • Give the Pike River families and victims overdue closure and peace of mind

  • Recover remains where possible

Ms Rockhouse said gathering evidence was a crucial part of the re-entry - not only to ensure it never happens again, but to give the families answers as to what happened to their loved ones and potentially finding out how long the men survived down there.

"We want answers," she said. "It's going to be very upsetting, and we'll probably find out things we won't want to know, but we have to know."