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Useless coroner work

  • January 12th, 2011

Listening to the Chief Coroner on Radio New Zealand describe his delegation's visit to the Pike River families last December reminded me of my disappointment in not remaining in Parliament for the Select Committee hearings on the Coroners Act 2006.

It was hard to work out what the Coroner was going to add to all the other 'resources' applied to that disaster. After all there is to be a highly resourced  official inquiry into the causes. It seemed he felt useful as another source of official sympathy and advice on legalities.

The Bill was introduced before the 2005 election and passed in 2006. I thought it seriously flawed, with powers that would confirm Coroners as routinely pontificating whiners over spilt milk, instead of being confined to their valuable role as rare but vital backstop reassurers that deadly foul play or official non-feasance will likely be uncovered.

Their loss of independence from the government in becoming full time sackable employees, was the first concern for me.

My fears have been borne out.

They love issuing clarion calls for new laws and regulations. They seem to feel no embarrassment at being without the benefit of the research on costs, unintended consequences and benefits required for any disciplined policy making. They seem rarely, if ever, troubled by notions such as liberty and personal choice.

Mr Ian Smith's pious views this week on quad bike safety have thankfully drawn official rebuttal

But the sad thing is that ignorant Coroner whining is now so commonplace that it is losing its impact. My concern is that they will have become politically entirely ignorable when next we have a genuine scandal on which their whistle blowing could be vital.



I hear the new Coroner in town is Facebook social.
That is we know what we know. Who needs a bloody Royal Commission into Pyke River coal. 
Please can  I opt out of my tax contribution to Coroner  and Royal Commisson.
Bloody lawyers. Lets send them down to the mines

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