The former chief coroner has hit back at the Justice Minister over his calls for mandatory responses to coroners' recommendations.
Judge Neil MacLean, who retired yesterday, said people had died because coroners' recommendations had been ignored.
However Justice Minister Amy Adams said a mandatory response would add extra paperwork and would not change outcomes or make people safer.
Judge MacLean said Ms Adams was wrong and he had never had the opportunity to discuss the matter with her.
Ms Adams said a review of the Coroners Act this year aimed to improve coroners' recommendations and the way they work with affected people.
Judge MacLean said he feared coroners would lose their powers under changes in the Coroners Amendment Bill.
He said the review was sending the message coroners were getting too big for their boots.