It has been gutting to wake up this morning in London to hear of the second explosion, and the confirmation of the deaths of the miners. New Zealand feels both far away and very close at hand today.
For what it is worth, throughout the last few days the colleagues from around the Commonwealth at my conference have taken a keen interest and expressed their sympathy. This morning a number have contacted me in the last few minutes to pass on their condolences. They are expressing their support and concern as family members, former visitors to New Zealand, MPs with mines and miners in their constituencies, but above all as fellow human beings who can feel the tragedy. All New Zealanders, most particularly the miners, their families and the Coast community, should know we are in the thoughts of many around the world.