An elderly couple found dead in their Nelson home on Tuesday had died two days earlier, according to a death notice.

Bob and Betty Jackson, aged 88 and 84 respectively, died in an apparent double suicide.

Police were alerted by a visitor to the house that the couple were not answering their door and meals left at the address had not been taken inside, Detective Sean Young, of Nelson police, said.

Police entered the house and found the Jacksons dead in an apparent assisted suicide/suicide, he said.

Advertisement

A death notice in today's Dominion Post said they died on July 31 - two days before they were found.

The couple were members of the Nelson chapter of Exit International, a voluntary euthanasia group formed by Australian doctor Philip Nitschke.

Nelson Exit International spokesman Christopher Vine told the Nelson Mail the couple had attended meetings of the group in the city.

"They acquired the knowledge they needed and said that for family reasons they wouldn't be coming any more," Mr Vine said.

They were "lovely people - very sweet, very gentle".

"I think they were very, very devoted, and just felt the life of one without the other wasn't worth it."

Mr Young said no one else was being sought in relation to the incident and the couple's deaths had been referred to the coroner.

- NZPA