Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse

Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern hugs Anna Osborne of the Family Reference Group, with Sonya Rockhouse adjacent.

On Friday 3 May 2019 dozens of family members of the Pike 29; the Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Hon Andrew Little, West Coast Tasman MP Hon Damien O'Connor and Opposition spokesperson for Pike River Re-entry Mark Mitchell; Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, other dignitaries, police representatives and Agency staff gathered to celebrate the impending drift re-entry.

Until the day before, the event had been planned so guests could witness the first re-entry to the Pike River Mine drift.  However re-entry work had to be postponed while the Agency uncovered the reason for the gas monitoring system to record unexpected oxygen in borehole 51.  Dinghy explains what happened in this YouTube video(external link).

Agency Chief Operating Officer Dinghy Pattinson says a tube monitoring gas levels in that borehole is at fault and the Agency is now focused on fixing the issue and checking the integrity of other gas monitoring tubes.

Agency Chief Operating Officer Dinghy Pattinson

Agency Chief Operating Officer Dinghy Pattinson.

Family Reference Group, Prime Minister and Minister Little

Taking a moment at the portal, Family Reference Group members Anna Osborne, Rowdy Durbridge and Sonya Rockhouse with Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern (grey coat) and Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Hon Andrew Little

Kath Monk and Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern catch up

Kath Monk and Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern catch up

Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne share a light-hearted moment at the portal.

Rowdy Durbridge

Rowdy Durbridge addresses guests after the song "29 Ghosts" was played. Rowdy co-wrote the song with musician Noel Coutts.

Sonya Rockhouse and Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Family Reference Group representative Sonya Rockhouse shows Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern the box containing coal and photos of the Pike 29.

Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern talks with Agency staff

Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern talks with Agency staff

Nan Dixon arrives at the portal with family.

Nan Dixon arrives at the portal with family.

Minister Little and Rowdy Durbridge

Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little and Rowdy Durbridge (father of one of the Pike 29) at the portal

Kirk Neilson, Greg Duncan and Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Kirk Neilson, Greg Duncan and Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern have a natter