Published 24 November 2010

It was with profound sadness that I heard the news this morning of the second explosion at the Pike River mine, and that there is now no hope for the survival of the 29 men trapped there.

I send to the families and friends of these courageous miners my deepest and most heartfelt sympathy. To the people of New Zealand I would say how much you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time of National tragedy.