14 May 2012

Support for Chief Coroner's call for change to system

8:38 am on 14 May 2012

The Chief Coroner has won backing for his call to have Coroners' recommendations followed up.

Judge Neil MacLean wants responses to be mandatory and to have a system to ensure that the relevant parties are making changes.

The judge says he is frustrated that coronial recommendations are being ignored and lives are being lost as a result.

"There's many recommendations Coroners have made. Then they repeat them again and they repeat them again, and you see the same thing happening. And you wonder, is anybody listening to what the Coroners are saying?"

Judge MacLean is lobbying the Government to copy Britain's coronial system where a mandatory response is demanded within 56 days.

Victim Support New Zealand chief executive Tony Paine says the change would be a step in the right direction.

Youth suicide awareness advocate Gregory Fortuin is pleased to hear Judge MacLean highlight an important issue and supports the call to make responses to coronial recommendations mandatory.

"There's no point in us collecting in a very considered way the facts, making the recommendations and it either gets lost in the bureaucracy or nobody bothers to respond."