Commission Hearings


There are four phases to the Pike River Royal Commission’s inquiries and the Commission will hold public hearings in relation to each of them:

  • Phase One: Context
  • Phase Two: Search and Rescue
  • Phase Three: What happened at Pike River
  • Phase Four: Policy Aspects


The timetable for the Pike River Royal Commission hearings is as follows:

Phase One – Context 

Date of hearing: 11 July - 22 July 2011

Date evidence to be received by the Commission: 

  • Evidence relating to issues 1.1 to 1.6 and 1.13 to 1.18: No later than 6 May 2011
  • Evidence relating to issues 1.7 to 1.12: No later than 3 June 2011

Phase Two – Search and Rescue

Date of hearing: 5 September - 23 September 2011

Date evidence to be received by the Commission: No later than 1 July 2011

Phase Three – What Happened at Pike River?

Date of hearing: 14 November - 25 November 2011

Date of hearing: 5 December - 9 December 2011

Date of hearing: 8 February - 17 February 2012

Date evidence to be received by the Commission: No later than 19 September 2011

Phase Four – Policy Aspects

A hearing to consider final submissions and feedback on policy issues will begin on Monday 2 April 2012

Final submissions and feedback on policy aspects are to be received by the Commission no later than 16 March 2012.

Hearing Plans - Witness Lists

Final Submissions Hearings, Start 9.30am Monday 2 April



 Time allocation

  •  NZ Police

Simon Moore SC

1 hour

  •  NZ Mines Rescue Service

Garth Gallaway 

45 minutes

  • Department of Labour
  • Department of Conservation
  • Ministry of Economic Development
  • Ministry for the Environment

Kristy McDonald QC

2.5 hours

  • MinEx
John Kay 15 minutes
  •  The Coal Association of NZ (incl.Straterra Inc)

Tony King

30 minutes

  • McConnell Dowell Constructors Limited

Grant Nicholson

30 minutes

  •  Solid Energy NZ Limited

Craig Stevens

 1 hour

  •  NZ Council of Trade Unions

Ross Wilson

30 minutes

  •  NZ Amalgamated Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union

Nigel Hampton QC

1 hour

  •  Neville Rockhouse

James Rapley

20 minutes

  •  The Families

Nicholas Davidson QC

2.5 hours

  •  Douglas White

John Haigh QC

45 minutes

  •  Certain Directors, Officers and Managers of Pike River Coal Limited

Stacey Shortall

2.5 hours

Live Streaming

The hearings are being live streamed over the Internet.


List of parties, interested persons and witnesses/submitters

 Legal counsel for participants 


The Commission aims to publish unedited transcripts from each day's hearings by 6.00pm each day.  The final transcript is expected to be available by 2.00pm the following day.

Final Submissions Hearings - 2 April to 4 April 2012

Phase Three: "What happened at Pike River?" Hearings – February 2012, December 2011 and November 2011

Phase Two: Search and Rescue Hearings – Monday 5 September- Friday 23 September 2011

Phase One: Context Hearings – Monday 11 July - Friday 22 July 2011

Preliminary Hearing – 11.00am Tuesday 5 April 2011

Following is a transcript of the Preliminary Hearing of the Royal Commission into the Pike River mine tragedy on Tuesday 5 April 2011: