Police would have a strong legal foundation to lay charges against Pike River mine executives if New Zealand had a corporate manslaughter law, Labour's MP Andrew Little says.

The families of the victims were told on Wednesday there wasn't enough evidence to link individuals to specific events leading to the 2010 explosion in the West Coast coal mine that killed 29 men, including two from Queensland.

Police said manslaughter charges had to be ruled out.

Mr Little, Labour's justice spokesman and the author of a member's bill which would put corporate manslaughter on the statute book, says that under his proposed legislation police wouldn't have to tie the cause of the deaths to the specific actions of individuals.

"They could look at aggregate failures by a number of people to make a charge stick," he said on Thursday.

"The charge of corporate manslaughter focuses on a high level of negligence at the board and senior management level and means failures in corporate culture can be called to account."

Mr Little's bill is in the ballot and has to be drawn before it goes onto parliament's agenda.

The families of the victims were disappointed when police told them no criminal charges would be laid, and are considering civil action.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.




If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net


  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.