133 Molesworth Street
PO Box 5013
+64 4 496 2000
25 January 2023
By email: [FYI request #21566 email]
Tēnā koe Tracy Response to your request for official information
Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act) to Manatū Hauora
(the Ministry of Health) on 14 January 2023 for information regarding iatrogenic fatality reports.
“…full and complete (personal data excluded obviously) iatrogenic fatality reports for the
past two years, 2021 and 2022.”
Your request is refused under section 18(g)(i) of the Act, as the information requested is not
held by Manatū Hauora and there are no grounds for believing it is held by another agency
subject to the Act.
After the close of a calendar year, there is a 12–18-month process to assign cause of death
codes to the majority of deaths in that year. This function is undertaken by the Te Whatu Ora –
Health New Zealand clinical coding team, who review the death certificate and health history of
the deceased to assign cause of death codes. Approximately 10% of deaths are referred to the
Coroner each year to determine the cause. Deaths which require a coronial inquiry can take two
to three, or more years, for a cause of death to be assigned. Mortality data is not made publicly
available until the majority of deaths have been assigned a cause of death. This is so the data
released is complete and accurate. The Chief Coroner has noted delays in the time it is taking
them to assign cause of death codes.
Te Whatu Ora publishes preliminary mortality statistics in December each year. The statistics do
not include injury-related deaths information, which are typically more influenced by coronial
cases. The 2020 preliminary data is published in the mortality web tool available here: www.tewhatuora.govt.nz/our-health-system/data-and-statistics/mortality-web-tool
Under section 28(3) of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to review any
decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be contacted by email at: [email address]
or by calling 0800 802 602.
Please note that this response, with your personal details removed, may be published on the
Manatū Hauora website at: www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/information-releases/responses-
Nāku noa, nā
Jan Torres Manager, OIA Services Government and Executive Services | Te Pou Whakatere Kāwanatanga
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