The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment can confirm that former Pike River Coal Limited (In Receivership) Chief Executive Peter Whittall has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges laid by the former Department of Labour following the 2010 explosions at the mine.
Mr Whittall pleaded not guilty at the Greymouth District Court this morning and has been remanded until 14 March 2013 for a status hearing.
There will be no comment from the Ministry.
Mr Whittall is charged, as an officer of Pike River Coal Limited, with 4 offences of acquiescing or participating in the failures of Pike River Coal Limited as an employer; 4 offences of acquiescing or participating in the failures of Pike River Coal Limited as a principal; and 4 offences of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of his as an employee harmed another person. These failures relate to methane explosion management, strata management, ventilation management, and mitigating the risk and impact of an explosion.