Relief-coroners to reduce wait times for grieving whānau

By Te Ao - Māori News

Eight relief-coroners are expected to reduce waiting times for grieving whānau.

The government is spending $7.5 million over four years for eight relief-coroners.

Minister for Courts, Andrew Little, says the number of deaths reported to the coroner continues to increase year on year.

“The resourcing of the coronial system needs to be improved and these relief-coroners will go a long way towards reducing how long it takes for a case to be completed.”

Little says whānau have expressed frustration over delays in coronial decisions and the extra support is aimed at reducing waiting times.

“The eight relief-coroners will manage cases from the time police report the death until the body is released from the mortuary, making directions on how a case will proceed, such as if a post mortem is required, and liaising with families around cultural considerations.”

The minister says the relief-coroners’ main focus will be on clearing the current backlog of cases by providing support to the National Initial Investigation Office, which is notified of all sudden unexplained or violent deaths in New Zealand and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.