Coronial Services

Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 restrictions, but may operate differently.

Please check the Courts of NZ website for the latest court protocols: Current court protocols related to COVID-19

For more information for court users, see: Information for all court and tribunal users.

This website will give you a general idea of what you can expect to happen when a death is referred to a coroner.

Police always inform a coroner when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or in suspicious circumstances. If a general practitioner (GP) or doctor is unsure what caused a person’s death, they will report it to the coroner.

The coroner will find out when, where, how and why the death happened. They’ll also work out whether anything can be done differently so that similar deaths can be prevented.

The Coroners Court is made up of the Chief Coroner and up to 20 coroners, with support from the Coronial Services Unit at the Ministry of Justice.

  • The family's rights »

    The immediate family of the person who died have the right to be kept informed and be given certain documents relating to the coronial process.

  • What happens during a post mortem »

    Find out what’s involved in a post mortem, where it happens, how long it takes and what happens after.

  • What to expect during an inquiry »

    Find out how a coroner decides whether to hold an inquiry and what’s involved in one.

  • Suicide »

    A coroner will investigate every suspected suicide and make a formal finding, either at an inquest or through a hearing on papers.

  • Findings & recommendations »

    Coroners’ findings and recommendations are usually open to the public in order to publicise lessons learnt from the deaths they investigate.

  • About coroners & Coronial Services »

    Coronial Services supports the Chief Coroner and up to 20 coroners.

  • Media »

    The media can watch and report on most NZ court and tribunal hearings, including the Coroners Court, although there can be restrictions especially around suicide.

  • Christchurch masjidain attack inquiry »

    Information and ongoing updates about the Christchurch Masjid (Mosque) Attacks Coronial Inquiry process.

  • Contact the coronial offices »

    Find out how to report a death, request information, get media information or contact 1 of our offices.

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