Coronial Services

UPDATE 23 February 2021:  All of Aotearoa New Zealand is now at Alert Level 1. Please check the Courts of New Zealand website regularly for updated court protocols:

Courts of New Zealand - court protocols

Please do not come to the courthouse if you are feeling unwell. Contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you cannot enter the courthouse or are not sure whether to attend.

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Health and safety measures

We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff. Follow the link above to court protocols for information applicable to your region, including requirements for wearing face coverings.

Court participants are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app and scan the COVID-19 QR code using their mobile devices.

You can download the latest Health and Safety Factsheet from the top of our COVID-19 information page.


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.

  • 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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