Coroners are frustrated that their recommendations are not being listened to and would like to see mandatory responding, according to a recent article in the New Zealand Herald. However the Associate Chief Justice Minister, Chester Borrows, said that government agencies do consider the recommendations and he did not think mandatory responding was necessary.
The article cited the case of a 12-year-old Christchurch boy who recently died after inhaling butane with his friends. In a similar case earlier this year the coroner had recommended the government look at ways to control the supply of substances such as butane. The recommendation had been referred to the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee.
The Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee is currently working on a report that examines unintentional poisoning deaths from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2008. All but one of the 103 people that died were between 13 and 24 years of age.
The Committee will be making a number of recommendations similar to those made recently by coroners. The Committee agrees that controlling access and supply of butane and other volatile substances would be one of the most effective ways to minimise this harm. The recommendations have yet to be finalised because the Committee is still liaising with its government advisors on the development of its recommendations.
This report is expected to be published later this winter.
Read the article in the New Zealand Herald