On 19 November 2010, the first of a number of explosions occured at the Pike River coal mine. Twenty-nine men were trapped in the tunnel. Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2017 NZ TV Awards, The Women of Pike River explored the lives of six of those left behind, who were wives and mothers of the miners. The disaster was NZ's worst single loss of life since the 1979 Erebus crash — until the 2011 Christchurch quake four months later. Despite assurances survivors would be rescued and the dead retrieved, new owners Solid Energy said the mine was too dangerous to re-enter.
These women are not weeping widows. They're fighters, and really engaging characters. I think people will be surprised by the journey they have been on.– Director Mary Durham, in an interview with Stuff, 1 August 2015
World premiere at Christchurch's Theatre Royal on 15 August 2015, as part of the NZ International Film Festival
First television screening on 17 November 2015 on TV1
Made with funding from NZ On Air
Song 'We Will Remember You Boys' composed and performed by John Wright