The Defence Force is still investigating the cause of Corporal Douglas Hughes' death in Afghanistan more than six months ago.
A military Court of Inquiry was assembled under the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971 immediately after Corporal Hughes died in hospital following an undisclosed non-combat incident while off-duty at the Romero Forward Patrol Base in Bamiyan province on April 3.
The 26-year-old rifleman from the 1st Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment was the fifth New Zealand soldier to die in Afghanistan. The death toll has since risen to seven.
The Defence Force has revealed at least one other person was present when Corporal Hughes died, but has disclosed no details about the cause of death.
Defence Force spokeswoman Ally Clelland said a court of inquiry was designed to provide "an expeditious fact-finding procedure so that a matter can be promptly investigated and, if necessary, prompt, remedial action can be taken".
"I am advised that while the court of inquiry in respect of the death of Corporal Hughes has made good progress, it is still ongoing," Ms Clelland said.
"The time taken thus far reflects the need to fully understand the circumstances leading to his death, including collecting witness statements and other expert evidence."
She could not say how long the inquiry would take to complete
Corporal Hughes was buried at Pakotai, 50km northwest of Whangarei.By Mike Barrington