Government to assist Pike River community

Monday 18 April 2011, 6:23PM
By David Carter


The Government today announced it will contribute $3.5 million towards the cost of a new events centre in Greymouth to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Pike River tragedy.

Economic Development Minister David Carter says the purpose of the new events centre is to provide a resource for the local community and to support the local economy.

“The Pike River tragedy had a terrible human cost. In addition to the loss of lives, there was also a significant economic impact as a result of the mine’s closure,” says Mr Carter.

“We hope this new events centre will go some way towards helping the local community by creating job opportunities through its construction, including for firms directly affected by the closure of the mine. It will also provide a much-needed community facility.

“The new facility will be named the West Coast Miners Memorial Events Centre to ensure that the men who died in the Pike River mine, and in other West Coast mining disasters, are never forgotten.”

The construction of the events centre is projected to cost $5 million. The difference will be funded by West Coast organisations.

Mr Carter says the Government has worked in partnership with the local community on the project.

“I wish to thank Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn and John Sturgeon, Chairman of Development West Coast for their constructive engagement with Government in the development of this proposal.

“We worked together looking at solutions to support the economy and create new jobs in the region. The concept of the events centre was the one the local community felt most strongly would create jobs for the people affected by the mine’s closure, and provide an enduring memorial to West Coasters who have lost their lives in mining tragedies.”