Key Points:

The coroner's inquest into the deaths of six people who died when a fishing boat sank off Stewart Island in 2006 has been abandoned.

Southland coroner Trevor Savage adjourned the inquest in May 2006 after learning independent investigations were being carried out.

Yesterday, he released his decision to not resume it, saying two previous reports had adequately canvassed the issues surrounding the deaths, The Southland Times reported.

The capsize of the trawler, the Kotuku, was New Zealand's largest maritime disaster since the sinking of the Wahine and warranted public scrutiny, Mr Savage said.

However, reports by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) and Maritime New Zealand had already applied that scrutiny and it was not in the public interest that it be relitigated.

The TAIC report found the Kotuku capsized after being hit by two waves and, while the Maritime NZ report had a different emphasis, the two were consistent.

The dead were nine-year-old cousins Shain Topi-Tairi and Sailor Trow-Topi, their grandfather Leslie (Peter) Topi, 78, Sailor's mother Tania Topi, 41, Clinton Woods, 34, and Ian Hayward, 52.

- NZPA