Pike River Mine Tragedy

25 Nov 2010

HM Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand

I am deeply saddened by today's news that there is now no hope for the men trapped in the Pike River mine. My heart goes out to the families and friends of these 29 brave miners and to all who have been touched by this national disaster. I send my thanks and deep appreciation to everyone who has worked so hard to attempt a rescue and also to those who will have a part to play in the task of healing the pain that is being felt throughout New Zealand and around the world. At this sad and difficult time my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

ELIZABETH R

HRH The Prince of Wales  

My wife and I have been following the unfolding tragedy at the Pike River mine with mounting concern for all those involved ever since the terrible explosion at the end of last week.

We have both been praying for a positive outcome. We have heard in the last hour, however, that it seems all hope is now lost for the 29 miners involved and so, however inadequately, we wanted to send this immediate message to you to say how deeply we feel for the families of those miners lost underground.

Our hearts go out to them, and to all the people of New Zealand, at such a desperately difficult time of anguish.

HRH Prince William of Wales

It was with profound sadness that I heard the news this morning of the second explosion at the Pike River mine, and that there is now no hope for the survival of the 29 men trapped there.

I send to the families and friends of these courageous miners my deepest and most heartfelt sympathy. To the people of New Zealand I would say how much you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time of National tragedy.

Prime Minister of Australia, Hon Julia Gillard

Transcript of the Prime Minister of Australia's statement

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr Key has just confirmed that there is now no hope that the 29 miners trapped underground at Pike River will be brought out alive.

This is tragic news, 29 families have been hoping, praying, waiting to hear good news and now they've heard the most terrible news.

Our hearts go out to them and on behalf of the Australian people I give the condolences of this nation.

Of course two of these families are Australian, the family of William Joynson and Joshua Ufer.

To those families we especially say we want you to have our condolences, we want you to understand that the nation is grieving with you at this dreadful and difficult time.

This is obviously a community in New Zealand that will now grieve bearing this dreadful loss, we send our best wishes and our best wishes, sympathy and support go to the two Australian families now living with this dreadful and tragic news.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma

“I write to you at this time of national mourning in New Zealand to convey our collective and sincere condolences to the families and friends of the 29 miners who have lost their lives” – Commonwealth Secretary-General

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has written to New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, to convey his condolences “to the families and friends of the 29 miners who have lost their lives at the Pike River mine.”

In his letter, Mr Sharma also recognised the valiant efforts of the civil and emergency services.

“The initial hopes in recent days – and now, the sense of despair and loss – have been felt by fellow Commonwealth citizens and governments around the world, as we have witnessed the tragedy,” he wrote.

“In this dark hour for the people of New Zealand, we extend our sympathy and solidarity to you all.”

HE José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission

Your Excellency

I would like to express, on behalf of the European Commission and in my own name, my sincere condolences to you, to the people of New Zealand and to the families affected by the deadly mining accident at the Pike River Mine on South Island. This accident has also affected the EU as two of the miners, Peter Roger and Malcolm Campbell, were originally from the United Kingdom. Two Australians and a South African are also among the dead and I extend my sincere condolences to all of their families as well. I would also like to pay tribute to those rescuers who have worked so hard in the days since the first explosion in the mine to find a means of bringing the miners to the surface alive. Let me assure you of the solidarity of the European Commission at this most difficult time.

Yours sincerely

José Manuel Durão Barroso

HH Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese, Head of State of Samoa

Your Excellency

Through this message I share in the grieving families, the people and the Government of New Zealand, their anguish, sadness and pain over the Pike River Mine tragedy.

You are very much in our thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely

Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi
Head of State
Samoa

President of Singapore, HE S R Nathan

Dear Sir Anand

I read with a heavy heart the news that the miners in the Upper Pike River Coal mine in Greymouth had perished following the explosions that occurred on 19 and 24 November 2010. Please accept my deepest condolences and sympathies for the tragic loss of lives. My thoughts are with you, the people of New Zealand and the families of the miners during this period of mourning.

Yours sincerely

S R Nathan

 

HE Giorgio Napolitano, President of Italy

It is with apprehension that in these last days I have followed the tragic event of the miners at Pike River, learning with deep consternation that there is no further hope of being able to save them.

In this moment of such great sorrow and deep emotion for the entire New Zealand nation, in the spirit of sincere friendship that unites our countries, I wish to express to you my deepest condolences also on behalf of the Italian people.

Giorgio Napolitano

 

HE Dr José Ramos-Horta, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Excellency, Dear Friend,

I deeply regret that the rescue of the miners in the Pike River mine is now extremely uncertain, due to the second explosion that occurred earlier today making it unlikely there would be any survivors.  If this indeed is the case, I lament this misfortune, as this truly is a national tragedy.

On behalf of the People of Timor-Leste, I extend our profound condolences to the relatives of the miners and to the people of New Zealand.  Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with you.

With our deepest sympathy

Dr José Ramos-Horta
President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
 

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

On behalf of the people of the United States, I offer heartfelt condolences to the families of the miners who died in the Pike River Mine explosion, and all those affected by this tragedy. New Zealand has lost 29 brave and hard-working men who will be mourned around the world.

Earlier this month I visited New Zealand and I saw the famous Kiwi strength and spirit for myself. You have come through adversity before, and I know you will do so again. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with you.  

HE Dr Karolos Papoulias, President of Greece

Deeply moved at the news of the tragic accident at the coal mine of Greymouth, that has resulted in the loss of so many human lives.  I would like to express to Your Excellency, on behalf of the people of Greece and on my own behalf, my sincere condolences and profound feelings of sympathy to the bereaved families and the people of New Zealand

Karolos Papoulias

HM Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

I was deeply saddened to hear about the tragic loss of life following the catastrophic explosion which happened at one of New Zealand's mines.  Allow me to express to Your Excellency on behalf of myself and the people of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, my heartfelt and most sincere condolences.  I pray to God the Almighty to grant you and their bereaved families comfort in their grieving, and to protect New Zealand from any harm. 

Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein
King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

HM Albert II and HRH Paola, King and Queen of the Belgians

The Queen and I are deeply shocked by the tragic Pike River coal mine accident.

We offer you and your compatriots our heartfelt condolences in these painful moments.

All our prayers and thoughts are with the victims' families.

Albert II and Paola
King and Queen of the Belgians

HM Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands

His Excellency
The Governor-General of New Zealand 

Deeply shocked by the news of the tragic accident at the Pike River coal mine, I wish to convey to Your Excellency my heartfelt sympathy and condolences. My thoughts are with the victims' families.

Beatrix R.

 

HE James Michel, President of the Republic of  Seychelles 

Excellency, the death of the miners in the Pike River mining, resulting in the tragic loss of 29 lives came to us with profound sadness and deep shock.  In this moment of grief, the Seychelles Government and people join me in conveying our deepest condolences, heartfelt sympathy and support to Your Excellency, to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of New Zealand. 

Highest consideration,

James A. Michel
President of the Republic of Seychelles

HE Dr Ken Michael, Governor of Western Australia

I am writing to extend the sympathy of all Western Australians through you to the people of New Zealand and especially to those in Greymouth who are grieving for their loved ones.

My wife, Julie and I are greatly saddened that twenty-nine precious lives have been so tragically lost.  Our hearts go out to their loved ones and fellow workers who are now suffering such a huge loss.  Words cannot adequately express what they must be feeling at this time.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Ken Michael

HE Sir Frank O Kabui, Governor-General of the Solomon Islands

Your Excellency

I learnt of the second explosion in the Pike River Coal Mine yesterday which turned hope into an uncalled disaster for the families, relatives and friends of the miners who were underground in the mine. I am very sorry for this untimely and unexpected turn of events which is said to be a foregone conclusion that all miners underground would not have survived the second explosion.

On behalf of the people of the Solomon Islands, I and Lady Grace do regret very much this unhappy event that negatively affects the lives of families, relatives and friends of the dead miners and the people of New Zealand as a whole.

Our hearts go out to the bereaving families, relatives and friends of those men whose lives had been lost in their efforts to service their families and New Zealand and indirectly Solomon Islands. They were taxpayers whose contribution with others have reached the shores of Solomon Islands in the form of New Zealand Aid.

Please accept out heart-felt condolence!

Your sincerely,

Sir Frank O Kabui GCMG, CSI, OBE
Governor General

 

Back to Features

Tours of Government House Wellington for the public, schools and community groups are being offered, starting in the New Visitor Centre.

Find out more.

Features

  • Christmas Eccles Cakes
  • State Banquet for the President of China
  • Grilled Turbot Fillet and Cwmglyn Rarebit
  • The Governor-General and Government Formation After the Election
  • Government House Recipes - Orange and Olive Oil Syrup Cake
  • New Year message - 2014
    Governor-General's 2014 New Year message
  • New Year Honours 2014
    Queen honours New Zealand's best
  • Nelson Mandela
    Governor-General pays tribute to South African leader
  • Niue and the Cook Islands
    Visits reaffirm special relationships within the Realm of New Zealand
  • Badge of the General Fono of Tokelau
    Governor-General hosts ceremony at Government House
  • Leadership Week
    Governor-General leads the Sir Peter Blake Trust Dream Team
  • Matariki 2013
    Governor-General recognises the contribution of women
  • Coronation Diamond Jubilee
    The Governor-General looks back at the Queen's 1953 Coronation
  • AIDS Candlelight Memorial
    Message from the Governor-General
  • South Canterbury and North Otago Regional Visit
    20-23 February: An overview
  • Waitangi Day - 2013
    Governor-General and Lady Janine visit Waitangi and Auckland
  • New Year Message 2013
    Governor-General issues his 2013 New Year message
  • New Year Honours 2013
    New Zealanders recognised by The Queen of New Zealand
  • Birthday cake
    Secrets of Government House birthday cake revealed
  • Diamond Jubilee visit
    Royal couple to visit Auckland, Wellington, Manawatu and Christchurch
  • Royal reception
    Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall prepare for trip to downunder
  • New Zealand's Governor-General
    Government House publishes new booklet
  • 2012 London Olympic Games
    The Governor-General supports the NZ Olympic Team in London
  • Diamond Jubilee message
    The Governor-General's Diamond Jubilee message
  • Open to view - credentials ceremonies
    Watch the video of a credentials ceremony at Government House
  • Western Bay of Plenty regional visit
    The Governor-General makes his first official visit.
  • Open Days 2014
    Government House Open Days 2014
  • Christchurch and Canterbury Earthquake Anniversary
    The Governor-General's Programme
  • Waitangi Celebrations 2012
    The Governor-General's first Waitangi Day Programme
  • Governor-General's New Year Message
    Sir Jerry Mateparae issues his 1st New Year message - watch the video
  • State Opening of Parliament
    Governor-General announces the Government's plans
  • Speaker-elect confirmation ceremony
    Dr Smith confirmed as Speaker of the House
  • Appointment of the new Government
    The Governor-General appoints the new Government
  • Queen's Diamond Jubilee Emblem
    New emblem to mark the Diamond Jubilee
  • Rugby World Cup
    Message from the Queen of New Zealand on the All Blacks' victory
  • State Swearing-in of Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae
    A Government House short film
  • Royal NZ Navy 70th Anniversary
    The Governor-General hosted and attended associated events
  • New Zealand Gallantry Awards
    Government House has today issued a special honours list
  • One year on from the 4 September 2010 Canterbury earthquake
    Governor-General issues a message
  • Swearing in ceremony
    Sir Jerry Mateparae to become NZ's 20th Governor-General
  • Sir Paul Reeves
    New Zealand's first Governor-General of Maori descent dies
  • Visit by King George Tupou V of Tonga
    The Governor-General hosted a State Welcome for the King of Tonga
  • Māori King visits Government House
    The King plants a tree to mark the visit
  • Matariki
    The Governor-General's 2011 Matariki Message
  • The Royal Wedding
    Sir Anand and Lady Susan attended the Royal Wedding on 29 April
  • ANZAC Day message
    The Governor-General's message for ANZAC Day commemorations
  • The National Christchurch Memorial Service
    Details and photos are available here.
  • Christchurch Earthquake
    Governor-General offers the support of all New Zealanders
  • Canterbury earthquake
    World leaders send messages of support to New Zealand
  • Waitangi Day 2011
    Sir Anand Satyanand's last Waitangi Day as Governor-General
  • New Year Message
    Governor-General issues his message for 2011
  • Pike River Mine Tragedy
    World leaders send messages of support to New Zealand
  • Governor-General visits Canterbury
    A visit to support and encourage those affected by the earthquake
  • New Year Message
    Governor-General issues his message for 2010
  • Governor-General's 2009 New Year Message
    New Zealanders urged to volunteer