The father of one of the 29 men who were killed when the Pike River mine exploded said it was "bloody freezing" when he first went into the mine.
On 19 November 2010, a methane explosion in the West Coast mine captured and killed the workers where they still are today.
Bernie Monk, whose son Michael died during the disaster, entered the mine last Thursday Newshub journalist Patrick Gower.
It was the closest to his son in eight years, Monk said.
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He took the time to think about his son and the other 28 men who were still in the mine, but the experience was not as moving as he expected, he said.
"Going in was not as emotional as I thought it was going to be," he said.
"It has not achieved much for me, you do not go any further, you are moving forward."
He went into the mine because he wanted to "show the country that the families are willing to go in," he said.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / STUFF
When he entered the portal, it was 96.5 percent methane after the 30 meter seal. The office was planning to purify the mine of methane with nitrogen and then to allow fresh air up to the end of the drift, or my access tunnel.
& # 39; It's bloody freezing in there, & # 39; said Monk. "You can see the icicles on the roof, that's how cold it is."
The Pike River Agency had granted the families access to the mining portal and several were already in the mine deviation in April, including representatives from Pike Family, Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse.
Monk and the majority of the 29 men's families have fought for the mine deviation that needs to be restored and accountable for the disaster.
A few years ago Mines Rescue went up to 300 meters and closed a seal at 170m and 30m. Monk said he wanted to know who told them to stop at 300m.
"It should have happened seven years ago, I challenge the legislators that you can not kill 29 men in the workplace and no one is held accountable," Monk said.
He had been to the portal for anniversaries before, when Solid Energy owned the mine, but was never allowed to enter.
Solid Energy closed the access road and "treated the families like criminals" when they protested against the permanent closure of the mine in 2016, he said.
Newshub journalist Patrick Gower said on the AM Show On Tuesday, a recovery team and Monk entered the portal and said it was "an incredibly emotional moment to be there".
"For me personally, it was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen to see a father who has fought so hard to be so close to his son."
Monk had touched and seized the wall as they entered the portal, he said.
The mine was considered too dangerous to re-enter by the national government and Solid Energy, which bought the mine after the disaster, but technical experts are working on a plan to re-introduce the 2.3-kilometer access tunnel (or drift) to collect bodies and gather some evidence to find out how the explosion happened. The return could start at the end of 2018.
The previous government also said that the mine can not be reintroduced due to health and safety legislation introduced as a result of the Pike River disaster.
Spokesman for the National Party for the Return of Pike River Chris Finlayson said earlier that the decision not to re-enter the mine was based on Solid Energy's advice that while manned re-entry was technically possible, it could not be done safely without to reduce life risk.
"We were not prepared to take that risk."
Monk, who had toiled on behalf of a number of families, said earlier that he had been ignored and "cut off" in his fight for justice, but always knew that the police would "return at the door".
Police Commissioner Mike Bush first met with families since the police closed the case in 2013 to "express police support for re-entry planning".
Monnik said it remains to be seen whether the police claimed that they were open to making new criminal charges that were legitimate.
In 2013, all twelve accusations against the former Peter Basitt boss of Pike River Coal were omitted and the families were told that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute manslaughter, but in June the best police officers in the country prepared a new research explosion.
The new study depended on access to the access tunnel or the drift of the mine.