MPs have rejected a call to lift restrictions on the reporting of suicide.

Parliament's justice and electoral select committee has been considering the Coroners Bill, which establishes a chief coroner and full-time coroners.

During submissions on the bill, media argued the restrictions on the reporting of suicide were outdated and should be lifted.

They argued that despite the silence on suicide, there had not been any fewer self-inflicted deaths.

Earlier this year, the editor of the Press newspaper, Paul Thompson, told the committee the restriction on reporting any details of a suspected suicide until the coroner had completed an investigation went too far, as did the ban on reporting almost all detail once the coroner had found the death was self-inflicted.

Several coroners have also called for more openness in media coverage of suicide.

The justice and electoral select committee said in its report that it had considered amending the Coroners Bill to permit more details about self-inflicted deaths to be made public "as some submitters had suggested that greater transparency might lead to better understanding of the issues relating to self-inflicted death".

However, it remained concerned about the implications for public safety and the possible consequences of such a change.

It supported "some restriction continuing in the interest of public safety".

The committee said family members of the deceased would be covered by provisions that restricted which details of a suicide could be made public. People who wanted to make public the details of a suicide would have to apply to the coroner for authorisation.

The committee expected that when considering whether or not to authorise making public the details of a suicide the coroner would weigh the interests of family members of the deceased "and the potential risk to public safety".

Under the new coronial system established under the bill, about 20 full-time, legally qualified coroners would replace the current approximately 60 mostly part-time coroners.

- NZPA