A recently retired Christchurch coroner is calling for a database that collects daily information from coroners, researchers and health professionals.
Richard McElrea retired after two decades of presiding over numerous inquests, including the 2010 Fox Glacier plane crash in which nine people died.
The Law Commission recommended a database in 2000 and Mr McElrea said it would benefit the public if coroners fed all the information gathered on a daily and weekly basis into a more accesible system for other professionals to use.
"The system to date has struggled to produce a database that is meaningful but it is certainly something that needs to happen - sooner rather than later."
He said he understood the difficulties behind creating such a system.