22 May 2014

Some restrictions on reporting of suicide to be lifted

11:07 am on 22 May 2014

Some of the restrictions on the reporting of suicide are to be lifted.

Bedside pills.

Photo: PHOTO NZ (file)

The Government has accepted all the recommendations of the Law Commission and will introduce amendments before the election to change the legislation.

The commission recommended the only rules to remain should be a restriction on reporting the method of death, and that it would be up to the chief coroner to decide whether a death is a suicide.

It suggested the restrictions would apply to all types of media outlets, although they would able to apply to the Chief Coroner for an exemption.

The Government plans to introduce a Coroners Amendment Bill in the coming months, which will implement the changes.

Courts Minister Chester Borrows said suicide is a serious concern for New Zealand, and how it is talked about can have both risks and benefits.

He said being more open about it can help shed light on it, but that must be balanced against appropriate restrictions that reduce the risk of copycat behaviour.