The coroner will investigate what killed Jean Sparksman.

The 89-year-old Hawke's Bay woman died on August 13.

Test results last night confirmed she had contracted campylobacter. A post-mortem examination revealed she also had other significant underlying health issues.

The coroner will investigate if camplyobacter contributed to her death.


Age Concern this week confirmed the woman had been living at Mary Doyle village in Havelock North. The retirement village declined to comment when Hawke's Bay Today contacted them.

Coroner Peter Ryan said further testing is being done to determine the specific cause of death, and what particular strain of campylobacter she had.

Ryan said that, on the information available, it was unclear what effect, if any, the campylobacter infection had on the woman's death. This will be a focus of his investigation.

Hawke's Bay Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nick Jones, has asked Ryan to make information public to ensure there is transparent reporting of any death associated, in any way, with a campylobacter outbreak that has hit Havelock North this week.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board has confirmed there were 87 confirmed notifications, and 250 probables for a total of 337 cases of campylobacter.

Sixteen people are in hospital and one is in intensive care.Jea