Coroners Amendment Act 2016

46 Sections 70 and 71 replaced

Replace sections 70 and 71 with:

70 Coroner may decide not to open or resume postponed or adjourned inquiry

(1)

This subsection applies to an inquiry that is postponed or adjourned under either of the following sections:

(a)

section 68 (procedure if person charged with offence):

(b)

section 69 (procedure if some other investigation to be conducted).

(2)

A coroner may decide, or the chief coroner may direct the coroner, not to open or resume an inquiry to which subsection (1) applies.

(3)

Before making a decision or a direction under subsection (2), the coroner or the chief coroner (as applicable) must be satisfied that the matters specified in section 57(2)(a) to (e) have, in respect of the death concerned, been adequately established in the course of the relevant criminal proceedings or investigation.

(4)

A coroner who decides, or who is directed, under subsection (2) not to open or resume an inquiry must give the Secretary written notice that the inquiry will not be opened or resumed.

71 Restrictions on making public details of self-inflicted deaths

(1)

This section applies in respect of a death if—

(a)

the death occurred in New Zealand or on or from an aircraft or a ship specified in section 14(1); and

(b)

the death was self-inflicted or there is reasonable cause to suspect that the death was self-inflicted.

(2)

No person may, unless the person is granted an exemption under section 71A or has permission under section 72, make public—

(a)

the method or any suspected method of the self-inflicted death; or

(b)

any detail (for example, the place of death) that suggests the method or any suspected method of the self-inflicted death; or

(c)

a description of the death as a suicide.

(3)

Despite subsection (2)(c),—

(a)

a person may make public that the death is a suspected suicide; and

(b)

a person may describe the death as a suicide if the coroner has completed a certificate of findings under section 94 stating that the death was a suicide.

71A Chief coroner may grant exemption from restrictions in section 71

(1)

A person may apply to the chief coroner for an exemption from the restrictions (specified in section 71(2)) applying to the publication of details of self-inflicted deaths.

(2)

On receiving an application under subsection (1), the chief coroner—

(a)

must, so far as practicable, give priority to the consideration of the application; and

(b)

may request advice from the suicide and media expert panel established under section 116A; and

(c)

may request further information from the applicant.

(3)

The chief coroner may grant an applicant an exemption from all or any of the restrictions in section 71(2) only if the chief coroner is satisfied that—

(a)

granting the exemption does not present an undue risk that other people will attempt to copy the behaviour of the dead person concerned; and

(b)

any risk that people will attempt to copy the behaviour of the dead person concerned is outweighed by other considerations that make it desirable, in the public interest, to allow the publication of the details.

(4)

To ensure an application is dealt with promptly, the chief coroner may carry out any communications necessary for processing the application in person or by way of remote access (such as by telephone, video, or Internet link).

(5)

The chief coroner must keep a written record of—

(a)

every application received under subsection (1); and

(b)

whether the chief coroner granted an exemption to the applicant under subsection (3); and

(c)

the reasons in each case for granting, or declining to grant, the exemption.