Victims of NZ Mine Blast Will Have Their ‘presents’ This Christmas – PwC

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
December 23, 2010 /

Receivers from Pricewaterhouse Coopers finally confirmed today the $300,000 victims’ compensation in labor costs for the 13 contractors that employed the men who died in the Pike River Coal blast on November 25, snuffing out 29 lives.

PwC partner John Fisk said December 16 that it might take a longer time before the blast victims could be compensated for the incident. Now, Fisk, together with David Bridgman and Malcolm Hollis, has confirmed they had already agreed with creditors NZ Oil and Gas and BNZ  to dish out the victims’ compensation covering the labor cost of contractors, which would be given before December 25. Majority of employees had already received preferential payments.

Families of the blast victims had already received part of the relief fund, $10,000 apiece for the spouses, $2500 for every child, and $2500 for the parents.

Distribution of the victims’ compensation was placed in a blurry light last month when PwC receivers expressed doubt that processing the payments could get over shortly following Pike River’s falling into administration in December 13. The receivers said the incomplete assessment of the total damage in the mine has made it difficult to say how much the beneficiaries could claim exactly from the $100 million maximum value of the insurance benefits.

All of the victims have $100 million total maximum claims to the compensation.

Fisk said the creditors did not have any legal duty to give the victims’ compensation, they gave it out of kindness. The secured creditors will receive the $80 million owed to them while the unsecured ones have $15 million in compensation to be paid afterwards.


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