12 May 2015

School funeral for hunting victim

3:36 pm on 12 May 2015

The former school of a teenager who died while duck shooting in the eastern Bay of Plenty will close for his funeral.

A police cordon.

A police cordon. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Fifteen-year-old James Ross Bucko Johnston died on Sunday while out hunting near Whakatane.

Trident High School will close on Thursday for his funeral which will be held in the school's auditorium.

In a second incident a 21-year-old man was also killed on Sunday near Ohakune after his gun went off while he was climbing over a fence.

He was named as Joshua Hunter Hill, and Ohakune police said a post mortem had been completed and they were continuing to investigate the incident.

The two hunting fatalities have prompted a government review of unsafe and illegal gun use in the outdoors.

Associate Conservation Minister Peter Dunne said the review would look at what the problems were, where responsibility might lie, and ultimately what the government could do to reduce the risk of death and injury.

He said once the review was completed, he would ask the Game Animal Council to work with the hunting and outdoors communities, and use the findings to improve the situation.