One of the men who died in the Pike River mine is the cousin of one of our staff.
That won’t be unusual in New Zealand where our small population results in very few degrees of separation and that is why today it’s not an exaggeration to say the country mourns.
If we don’t know someone, we’ll know someone who knows someone who died, who is grieving, and/or who is helping.
Kiwiblog has delivered some well deserved bouquets to some of those involved.
I second that and make particular mention of the politicians.
We usually see what divides them but from the start of this tragedy we’ve seen the common humanity which unites them. West Coast Tasman MP Chris Auchinvole and list MP Damien O’Connor have been there as MPs and Coasters doing what they can to support the people they serve.
As Prime Minister John Key said:
New Zealand stands shoulder to shoulder with you. Though we cannot possibly feel this pain as you do, we have you in our hearts and our thoughts. Like you, we had all longed for that miracle to occur-that your men would be returned home to you. Tonight, on behalf of the people of New Zealand, we send our sympathy to the children who have lost their fathers, to the parents who have lost sons, to the wives who have lost their husbands, to the girlfriends who have lost their partners, to the siblings who have lost their brothers.”