The media can watch and report on most court and tribunal hearings in New Zealand, including in the Coroners Court. This is part of New Zealand having an open and transparent justice system.
The Coroners Court has its own media application form:
The form should be completed and sent to the appropriate Coronial Services Unit.
Coroners Court & the media
Coronial Services are committed to a professional and positive relationship with the news and print media because we appreciate the role they play in increasing the understanding of the work of the coroners, and in educating the public on the lessons learned from individual deaths that arise from coroners’ findings and recommendations.
News and print media are welcome to attend an inquest and can expect to receive notification of upcoming inquests and should have findings released to them when available.
However, there will be restrictions on coverage sometimes in court depending on the case and applications which the coroner will announce at the start of the inquest.
Coroners speaking to the media
Like other judicial officers, coroners don't usually speak to media about the individual cases they manage or the findings they issue.
However the Chief Coroner may choose to speak to media, and often does so when there is an issue of national significance.
- 28 October 2021 — Proposed scope of masjid attacks inquiry set out in Minute [PDF, 142 KB]
- 21 October 2021 — Chief Coroner opens inquiry into Christchurch masjid attacks [PDF, 142 KB]
- 14 October 2021 — Consider Alpine Code legislation, coroner recommends in bus crash findings [PDF, 232 KB]
- 4 October 2021 — Chief Coroner releases annual suicide statistics, launches new web tool with Ministry of Health [PDF, 147 KB]
Restrictions on reporting
If there are reporting restrictions on a finding, the restrictions will be stated in the finding.
Media should also be aware of the reporting restrictions required by the Coroners Act 2006 when it comes to self-inflicted deaths.
Copy of findings
The media liaison person or your case manager will inform you if findings are to be released to the media.
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