Supplementary Order Paper No 146

No 146

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Coroners Amendment Bill

Proposed amendment

Jacinda Ardern, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 30

After new section 57B (page 21, after line 38), insert:

57C Government agencies must respond to coroner’s recommendations

(1)

Any government agency that is the subject of coronial recommendations must provide a written response to the coronial recommendations.

(2)

The response must describe the actions that the agency has taken, or plans to take, as a result of the coronial recommendations.

(3)

The response to the coroner’s recommendations must be presented within 60 working days to—

(a)

the chief coroner; and

(b)

the Minister responsible for the government agency making the response.

(4)

The response must be published on the website of the government agency making the response within 20 working days of it being presented in accordance with subsection (3).

(5)

The chief coroner must release a summary report every 12 months as part of annual reporting that will—

(a)

collate all responses received in the 12 months prior to the release of the report; and

(b)

include a commentary by the chief coroner on the adequacy of the responses; and

(c)

identify agencies that have failed to respond to coronial recommendations and detail what they have failed to respond to.

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper amends clause 30 to insert new section 57C, which will require government agencies to provide a written response to coronial recommendations. Coroner’s recommendations play a critical role in understanding the causes of, and preventing further, deaths. Currently, the ability for agencies to ignore coronial recommendations undermines this role. Requiring a mandatory response regime would strengthen the role of the coroner in New Zealand, improve safety, and provide further transparency, ensuring that agencies indicate how they will, or will not, implement recommendations, and why. The inclusion of subsection (5) serves to incentivise agencies to provide responses.