A spokesperson for NZDSOS said “it is clear on glancing through the submissions, New Zealanders see this amendment as a cover-up attempt, either by accident or design”.
The Bill, which has had it’s first reading and is now with the Select Committee aims to speed up the process of coronial investigations so families are not left in limbo for years and to clear the current backlog of active coronial files. However, among the proposed recommendations of which one is to record deaths with a previously unheard-of classification ‘unascertained natural causes’. Essentially this equates to ‘we don’t know what the cause of death is and we won’t be investigating it thoroughly’. This is a risky and reckless practice where deaths could be potentially swept aside, covered up or missed, leaving unanswered questions for families and whanau.
In light of the vaccine roll out, New Zealand like many other countries are experiencing an alarming rise in all-cause mortality rates which has not been adequately explained. “The role of a comprehensive coronial service with the ability to do thorough investigations on an increased number of deceased people is more important now than ever before” said the NZDSOS spokesperson.