Cycling deaths Inquest announced

Cycling deaths Inquest announced
Waikato Coroner Gordon Matenga will travel to four separate regions throughout the country to hear evidence relating to nine cycling deaths to try and identify any common trends or information that could prevent a re-occurrence of such tragedies.


The first hearing will be held in Palmerston North on 21 July, followed by Hamilton on 25 August and subsequent hearings in Auckland and Wellington.

Coroner Matenga said travelling to different regions will mean family members and witnesses can attend the Inquest relevant to them but also allow for greater input from the cycling community and any other interested parties.

"These deaths are an absolute tragedy and we must do everything we can to uncover any lessons or measures that can help avoid them in the future," Coroner Matenga said.

Details of further Inquests will be released when confirmed.

The deaths referred to are those of the following people: Antony Chapman, Mary-Jane Bishop, Kay Wolfe, Mark Ferguson, Wilhelm Muller, Patricia Fraser, Rex Dalzell and Benjamin Lawless; Thomas Briggs has also been subsequently added.

Update: Christchurch was added later to hear four further cases: Brennan Sharp, John Mayers, Nigel Townley, and Josephine Holmes. The hearing was in June 2013.

See attached 'Minute of Coroner Matenga' for dates, locations, and how to participate in the hearings, or contact CAN.

Link to evidence presented by various parties

Final review report presented by the Coroner (Nov 2013)

PDF icon Minute of Coroner Matenga cycling.pdf384.64 KB


I spoke to a reporter from the NZ Herald today.
At today's Inquest the Coroner discussed the possibility of cyclists paying towards the widening of road shoulders, to make them safer.


I made a few points:
- people who ride bikes pay their share: rates, taxes, ACC, those who drive pay fuel tax and rego
- roads are a public good like education, policing, street lights. We don't charge for these based on use.
- about 2% of trips are made by bike, yet cycling is a tiny (0.5%?) share of transport spending. We would be delighted to have 2% of transport funding
- let's focus on what works: quality infrastructure, higher driving standards, cyclist education, enforcement, rather than dreaming up band-aid fixes that don't reduce the risks.

and high vis came up again.

User pays is clearly the way to go. It's high time pedestrians started paying for the crossings and crossing lights they use, too. They've been freeloading off taxpaying motorists for too long.

Sarcasm aside, has this astonishing suggestion been published in any media outlet to which it would be worth responding?

When he mentionned high vis, it was about the toddler run over on a driveway, correct?

No, he was talking about cyclists.

Yeah, that was sarcasm...

But still, helmets and high vis shoudl be mandatory for toddlers on driveways, pedestrians, all road users. And cars should only come in fancy high visibility colours.

About the "cyclists don't pay road taxes", I can't find the numbers but NZTA isn't near funded enough by road charges. Those numbers would be good to have for the interview, sorry if I am late... And GST on petrol shouln't go into roads, as GST, like all taxes is a way of redistributing riches, not just giving back money to those who paid the tax. GST collected on clothes isn't given back to clothes makers, nor is it for porn ;-)

I'll be chatting with Paul Henry on Radio Live this afternoon.
- cycling and safety
- "but cyclists don't pay for the roads"

Bring it on.

Go for it.

Is there any way for those of us who can't listen to hear it later? If so, I'd like to share it with the local Spokes group.

from the Coroner's office:
I can confirm that the Coroner will be hearing 3 South Island files. A date is yet to be set for the South Island Inquest as with a suitable venue. We heard that one of the files is going to a prosecution so it may be sometime away before setting down a date. It is the Coroners intention to wait for prosecutions to be heard before proceeding to an Inquest.

There are no dates for Auckland and Wellington as yet. An Auckland file is also the subject of a prosecution and we understand that the date for the prosecution to commence is in January. The Inquest for Wellington is likely to take place before Auckland but again, a date is yet to be set.