Peter Whittall is shining example of how to handle a crisis. He has been placed under immense pressure during the New Zealand Greymouth mining crisis, and even when he found out that in spite of the enormous effort of his team that all of the 29 miners trapped underground had perished, he still showed us all how to behave in a crisis situation.
He stayed cool, he stayed calm, even under the building pressure from families frustrated as to why the rescue teams could not go in. He showed us all how to conduct yourself as a manager in hostile situations, when the pressure is on. He was under huge personal stress and he had to endure ridiculous questions from some media, anger from families and many “back seat drivers” all with an opinion as to what his company should have been doing.
He faced up to the families to deliver them the news, he faced up to a very critical media and has genuinely shown compassion to those people and families just before xmas – his actions and words were not just a media trained delivery of pre-prepared content. He really does care.
In our opinion, online or offline he is an inspiration to us all and a shining example of how to handle a crisis. He should pat himself on the back in the knowledge he did all he could in this situation. He saved those rescuers by not sending them in, and we have a lot of respect for him as a manager.