Family one step closer to bringing son home

Malcolm Snr. and Jane with a picture of son, Malcolm Jnr.
Malcolm Snr. and Jane with a picture of son, Malcolm Jnr.

The family of St Andrews miner Malcolm Campbell are one step closer to recovering his body, after a new government was formed in New Zealand.

Despite the New Zealand National Party winning 44.5 per cent of seats in the recent election, the country’s Labour Party took power, after forming a rainbow coalition.

It was good news for the parents of Malcolm Campbell, Malcolm Snr. and Jane, who had been promised by Labour that, if it won the election, it would try to retrieve the bodies of the 29 miners, including Malcolm, who perished in the Pike River Mine disaster in 2010.

Progress is already being made, with a minister being appointed to lead the re-entry into the mine, and an agency soon to be set up to take on the task.

Malcolm Snr. said he was “very optimistic” of progress being made.

“The prospects and hopes of the families are good,” he added.

“For the last four or five years it feels like we’ve been fighting a serious contender in the previous government.

“There was no way they were going to re-enter the mine.

“I think it’s on the up now, but it is still a long road for us.”

The project is aimed at getting into the mine, with the hope that the bodies are found during the process.

And Malcolm Snr. admitted that he wasn’t sure if they would get his son out.

“We do what we do to support the families,” he said.

“If one person comes out of here and gets closure then all this work and heartache has been worth it.

“It’s a little consolation for us.”

While Malcolm Snr. has been involved in the battle to re-open the mine for a number of years, keeping in contact with the families of the other miners, he said there’s only one thing which will give the family closure.

“The only closure we’ll get is if they get Malcolm home and put him to rest next to his gran and grandad,” he explained.

“We’re just dealing with it and coping with it.

“We’re looking to make sure New Zealand is a safe place for a person to go out there and start up a new life.

“That’s what Malcolm wanted to do.”