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Pike River Mine Disaster

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 11:41 am Tue 23rd November 2010

Although a minority of news reports use the term “men” to refer to the miners, I have not come across one discussion of men’s roles in maintaining the infrastructure of our privileged lifestyle, or the fact that men have always comprised very close to 100% of workplace deaths in NZ.

Today I sent the following note to the acting minister of Women’s Affairs:

Dear Mrs Te Heuheu

An article aired on National Radio Morning Report this morning stated as follows (your recorded voice comments are in quotes while the announcer’s comments are not):

…Mrs Te Heuheu says there is clear evidence that women are still being denied equality in the workplace both in pay rates and in the number appointed to senior management and governance roles.

“You have to work away at it, you have to provide good advocacy otherwise people will ignore you, and it’s the same principle as across Maori Affairs, Pacific Island Affairs, Ethnic Affairs and Women’s Affairs. Now, overall, over the last 20 years there have been improvements across all those but there’s still challenges, absolutely.”

Georgina Te Heuheu, the acting minister of women’s affairs…

I was wondering if your Ministry might organize a feminist outrage march outside the Pike River Mine with placards complaining that women’s income on average is 12% less than men’s for the jobs they do.

Yours faithfully

Hans Laven


  1. Excellent Hans.
    I expect the misery of wimmins affears will be too busy powerlunching and concocting more misandric fear-mongering at the taxpayers expense though.
    I can’t see them to getting off their privileged arses and showing they care about the other half of the human race any time soon.

    Comment by Skeptik — Tue 23rd November 2010 @ 11:50 am

  2. You make a very good point Hans about the function of men. One of the first analogies I learnt from a much older and much wiser man in the men’s movement was …”men are like urinal deodorant cakes – their function inlife is to be unrinated on until they disapear”.

    I note Ms Te Heuheu is also the Minister in Charge of the Family Court.
    – Jeremy H

    Comment by GerryMen (not the Man) — Tue 23rd November 2010 @ 11:57 am

  3. Next time I hear anybody complaining about the gender wage gap I will go absolutely ballistic.

    Comment by gwallan — Tue 23rd November 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  4. The debate about women’s wage equality may be seen as a device for reducing the wage premium component for compensating for hazard?

    We could consider having wage equality and drafting women in to share the burden of working in dangerous environments? The same would also have to apply to men working in safe environments too…..

    I hope that any death benefits don’t have to be collected by the deceased, in person?

    There is a sick joke, in law of torts (other than law in general), that it is far cheaper to kill and pay compensation, than to disable and pay compensation. If you think the issues through, it will become obvious why this is so – even though it does look (and IS) unethical. It is just that no-one has been able to find a more ethical alternative.

    Men’s greatest enemy, in trying to rectify social problems affecting divorced/separated men, is the divide and rule, men in happy relationships don’t see that any evil could befall them, until it already has. We do need to put in a lot of effort to improve our communications.

    I guess that one of the most important issues in living with hazard, is that people who agree to accept an increased degree of risk, know fairly accurately the degree of risk that they are consenting to accept, in other words that their consent is based on them being well informed.

    The blackening of the surrounding bush and ventilation towers, seems to show that the mine air was close to the upper explosive limit UEL, rather than the lower explosive limit LEL. This tells us two things, the methane had been accumulating for a fairly long time, long enough for men to down tools and walk slowly out and also that the resulting atmosphere after the explosion would be very high in carbon monoxide ie very poisonous to people and animals. These imply that there were multiple failures in gas detection equipment ie it sounds like a very prosecute-able situation.

    John Key has already promised a Commission of Inquiry.

    Interestingly, Wayne Pruden’s request for a Commission of Inquiry into familycaught was turned down finally by John Key’s National Government.

    Which of these two inquiries would be looking at more deaths?
    Which of these inquiries would be looking at more family destruction?
    (Accidental deaths are often more easily accepted than an unexplained suicide….)
    Which of these inquiries could see the most actors imprisoned?
    How close would the actors at risk be – to Government?
    (Recall that the computer programmer who landed the Air NZ plane on Mt Erebus was never even prosecuted.)
    (Remember that the Dept of Conservation Minister responsible for the Cave Creek deaths was never prosecuted!!)

    protection-orders-the-quantitative-figures Look down to comment 17, where I write:

    It seems that the DV Act, in trying to save up to 17 women per year, saves about 0.6 per year. The consequential losses include fathers and children’s suicides, at about 20 per year. All this, while turning a blind eye to men victims of homicide, at around 100 per year. I believe that it is important to maintain a sensible overall perspective!?

    Other aspects of familycaught drive additional parental suicides each year, so the total toll is much higher than those listed above.

    Anyway, think through these issues and take your own best action! I hope that you lose a bit of sleep over these issues!

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon - axe murderer — Tue 23rd November 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  5. Hans, are you a qualified clinical Psychologist?

    Edit: I need one of these for in-between talk between ground people and professionals.

    Comment by julie — Wed 24th November 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  6. When I was a kid I rocked home from school one day to find my dad – unusual for him to be home – watching the TV. It was the day of the Westgate Bridge collapse. For weeks I existed with a hollow sense of nausea at the tragedy and death.

    It begins again…

    Second blast dashes hope for miners

    Comment by gwallan — Wed 24th November 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  7. Ms te Heuheu has more mail.

    Dear Ms te Heuheu,

    There are numerous mundane reasons why men earn higher average work incomes than do women.

    One of those reasons happened today.

    Yours humbly,


    Comment by gwallan — Wed 24th November 2010 @ 6:30 pm


    The Pike River coal mine victims: Conrad John Adams, Malcolm Campbell, Glen Peter Cruse, Allan John Dixon, Zen Wodin Drew, Christopher Peter Duggan, Joseph Ray Dunbar, John Leonard Hale, Daniel Thomas Herk, David Mark Hoggart, Richard Bennett Holling, Andrew David Hurren, Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, William John Joynson, Riki Steve Keane, Terry David Kitchin, Samuel Peter Mackie, Francis Skiddy Marden, Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, Stuart Gilbert Mudge, Kane Barry Nieper, Peter O’Neill, Milton John Osborne, Brendan John Palmer, Benjamin David Rockhouse, Peter James Rodger, Blair David Sims, Joshua Adam Ufer, Keith Thomas Valli.

    My condolences extend to family, friends and associates of these brave men.
    My thanks extend to all who tried so valiantly to rescue these men from terrible tragedy.
    My vehement contempt extends to all those who disrespect men as a class by failing to recognize men get paid more because they so often take more risks and do more arduous work, not because of the existence of any mythical ‘patriarchy’.

    Comment by Skeptik — Wed 24th November 2010 @ 9:52 pm

  9. Hear hear Skeptik. I also extend my condolences and sympathy for the families, friends and community who have suffered this huge loss. I know also that other men would gladly have gone in to the mine regardless of the risk to themselves, in order to try to rescue any of those inside. To have to hold back and stand by (the only option said to be sensible) must have been very traumatic.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 25th November 2010 @ 7:17 pm

  10. I was taken into the Strongman Mine in about 1964. A Miner Wilf Boardman took my dad and myself in to see how it all worked. A year later was the Strongman explosion, and Wilf Boardman was one of the rescuers who put on the “proto” breathing gear, went in, rescued many and recovered most of the bodies. Wilf was awarded a QSM.
    At that time, the Police were not in charge of the rescue, the Mine management were, and were guided by the experienced miners.
    At the time, I did not appreciate the risk that they took of rushing in immediately after the explosion, hoping that all the gas had been burnt off.

    I understand that one of the casualties of the Pike River disaster was a grandson of Wilf Boardman.

    If there had been WOMEN trapped, or killed, at Pike river, would that not have been more sensational!
    Perhaps if there had been WOMEN in the Pike river mine, MEN might have risked their lives and rushed in heroically, instead of holding back and calculating the odds.

    Comment by John Brett — Tue 30th November 2010 @ 5:39 pm

  11. …A very good post John Brett

    Comment by John Dutchie — Wed 1st December 2010 @ 8:04 am

  12. Why do we not have any women miners? [or do we???]
    Maybe they don’t have latte’s and fashion shops nearby?

    Comment by Back from the dead — Fri 3rd December 2010 @ 7:47 pm

  13. Well put Hans. I have been conducting this campaign in all the blogs I could get at attached to the newspapers!

    Comment by Alastair — Mon 6th December 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  14. Next time some feminist starts bellyaching about women not earning as much as men they can be sent here for a quick bit of shock therapy.

    Repeat treatment as necessary until symptoms abate.

    Comment by SKeptik — Mon 13th December 2010 @ 11:55 am

  15. Oh and what’s the bet the two teenagers (14 & 18 years old) who did this to the policeMAN were the products of our NZ defathering regime and thus grew up under-parented – feral?

    Comment by SKeptik — Mon 13th December 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  16. Dear John,

    I am sure that it is not too late to invite women to take part. If any are interested, they could perhaps be a useful part of the body rescue teams? Would they have to work for the crumbs left behind by the receivers? It seems that the finances are as charred as the mine tunnels. S’pose it goes to show that getting it right first time is just as important in mines, as it is in caughts. This is a lesson well worth learning, eventually!

    I haven’t heard any women expressing interest, perhaps I haven’t been in the right place at the right time, to hear. Mind you, I cannot say that I am keen to rush into a smoking mine, to look for bodies – so maybe not very much is proved….

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 13th December 2010 @ 10:08 pm

  17. Politicians are lining up to be the hero or two who lead the re-entry to Pike River.

    Would they stand outside the IRD to lead the investigation into ‘The Child-Support Murders’ of Feminist terrorists?

    Not on their fat-arses, of course not.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 22nd April 2018 @ 4:05 pm

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