A coronial inquest into the deaths of a mother and her newborn son began in Hamilton today.

The inquest, being held at the High Court at Hamilton, follows the deaths of Casey Nathan and her son Kymani.

Ms Nathan died at Waikato Hospital on May 21, 2012, six hours after giving birth.

Kymani was born with breathing difficulties. He was rushed to the newborn intensive care unit at Waikato Hospital but died on May 23.

Advertisement

Coroner Garry Evans said the inquest would investigate the causes and circumstances leading to the pair's deaths.

He said the court would consider other issues, including the management of Ms Nathan's labour and the delivery of Kymani.

It will also consider, among other things, the timeliness of an ambulance being called for Ms Nathan following the birth, her management by staff at Waikato Hospital and the experience of the midwife who oversaw the delivery of Kymani.

The inquest, before a packed public gallery, is set down for a week, with 23 witnesses to be called.