Hurunui opens its hearts to West Coasters following Pike River tragedy

The Hurunui District Council is taking up a collection for the families of miners now believed to have perished in the Pike River Mine.

Collection points have been established at Council offices and libraries where residents of the district can leave donations and messages of support.

The decision was made at today’s monthly council meeting where it was noted that some Councillors and staff in the meeting have also been affected in some way by the tragedy. Many people in the Hurunui originate from the coast or have friends and relatives there.

Mayor Winton Dalley says his Council wants to be able to provide some tangible support to the Mayor and people of the Grey District, to whom he offers his sincere condolences.

“After the September 4th earthquake that ravaged Canterbury, Hurunui was able to send staff to help with the building inspections, water and sewer connections and to man welfare centres.

“And in what is clearly a very difficult time, we would like the people of Greymouth, Runanga and Reefton to also know our thoughts are with them.

“But in this case, where lives have been lost, it is hard to find a practical way of helping or expressing our heartfelt sympathies to this devastated community in any real meaningful way.”

The Council would be sending any donations and messages to the Grey District Council on behalf of its community.

Mayor Winton Dalley has also written to Grey District Mayor, Tony Kokshoorn, formally recording his Council’s sympathies and desire to help.

In it he records the councils “great sadness at learning of another explosion ending any possibility of a miracle” and asks that he conveys Hurunui’s heartfelt condolences to his community.

“You need to know and be assured that the prayers and thoughts of your neighbours, here in Hurunui have been with you throughout this last week and will continue in the time ahead.

“While we were able to offer our other neighbours tangible and practical support with the recent earthquake event in Canterbury, it is not yet apparent how we can do the same for you, but rest assured we are turning our minds to finding a way.”

The letter also acknowledges the loss of Councillor Milton Osborne in the mine disaster.

Today’s Council began with all councillors standing for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.


For further information contact:

Lauren McKenzie

Communications Advisor

Hurunui District Council

03 314 0024