A Taranaki iwi leader has heavily criticised upcoming changes to the region’s coronial services, citing the negative impact it could have on Māori tikanga connected to the dead.
A new set of contracts, which are in the process of being finalised by Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and come into effect on September 1, will see Taranaki people in need of post-mortems being taken to Hamilton or Palmerston North for autopsy.
Prior to this, pathologists were directly contracted by MOJ to do the work in the region.
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, kaiarataki of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui, said the changes had been made without any consultation with the Taranaki community or iwi.
“This is a blatant disregard for tikanga Māori and whānau throughout Taranaki,” she said.