New Zealand Labour Party

Labour stands behind Solid Energy miners

Solid Energy miners will not be surprised at the company’s announcement today of further restructuring but any more job losses will be a shock for West Coast communities, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.

“I have my fingers crossed that any job losses will be minimal but the harsh reality is the National Government allowed Solid Energy to run riot with its operations and costs.

“Now the reality of a slump in the coal price will hit the miners as it has too often throughout history.

“However, we have been working as a community and preparing for such an announcement to create alternative ideas and job opportunities, particularly in the Buller region.

“Community and business leaders are due to meet again later this month to further develop these plans.

“The West Coast will survive as it has in the past but the immediate impact on many young local families will be devastating.

“The National Government has been at the helm of Solid Energy throughout this chaotic period and must provide whatever support it can to these workers,” Damien O’Connor says.