Deaf advocates are seeking answers over the death of a hard-of-hearing man while being taken into police custody.

Godfrey Easton collapsed and died at his Levin home on Wednesday.

Neighbour Judy Shellard said Easton's behaviour had become increasingly erratic in recent months and she had tried to warn his caregivers that he needed more help.

Deaf Aotearoa chief executive Rachel Noble said police needed to be more aware: "How did they communicate and did Godfrey understand what was being communicated with him, or did this add to his anxiety?"


Easton, in his 60s, was deaf and mute.

Police have referred the death to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.