Kiwis, take a good look at yourselves. After the tragedy of the 29 men lost at Pike River coal mine, there will be an official inquiry as to what went wrong. That's how it should be.
If this disaster could have been prevented, if mistakes were made in the aftermath of the explosion, it will enable mine companies to provide a safer work environment for their employees in the future.
Everyone involved in the search and rescue operation will have their conduct scrutinised and their decisions dissected - again, that is right and proper.
But I hope a few New Zealanders take a long hard look at their own conduct too. What on earth made many people, whose only experience with coal mines was driving past one, assume that they knew more than guys such as Pike River boss Peter Whittall - a man with nearly 30 years' experience in coal mining and a man who was a personal friend and colleague of most of the guys trapped? I know zip - diddly squat - about mining and combustible gases. Therefore I relied on the men in charge to make the right calls.
The families of the men trapped had the prerogative of dealing with their fear and pain as best they could and anger and frustration were understandable.
But complete randoms who had absolutely no knowledge of the families involved, the West Coast or mining were coming up with some truly bizarre suggestions through talkback and online forums all week.
The most common one was that it was "PC gone mad" that rescuers were holding off from rushing into the mine. The (mostly) men who commented online were all for the Colonel Custer type of action - anything is better than doing nothing, even if it means certain death for you and any possible survivors.
These were blokes who yearned to wear their undies on the outside of their trousers and play Superman for a day. I'm sure their motives were pure but if Dan Rockhouse, one of the survivors of the initial blast and a man with a brother trapped in the mine, understood the necessity of waiting, what gave armchair critics the right to criticise and worse - accuse the rescuers of deliberately sitting on their hands?
There's more, but we reckon that Kerre Woodham has perfectly summarised the dilemma faced by the rescuers and the public response. Time will tell where any blame lies. In the meantime we should be grateful that there were men ready to go into the mine when the command was given, but also that there was no additional loss of life after the initial catastrophic explosion.