The late Helen Kelly has been credited for a drop in forestry worker deaths.

In a combined decision of eight inquests, coroner Wallace Bain praised industry efforts to reform the notoriously dangerous forestry sector.

But he made particular mention of Kelly's campaign, describing her as the "primary driver" of safety reforms.

Bain pointed out that her work had led to the creation of the Forestry Leadership Action Group, new Health and Safety legislation, and increased monitoring from WorkSafe New Zealand.


"The forestry industry is now a far safer place to work in that it was before these tragic deaths."

The inquiry focused on eight deaths between March 2012 and November 2013.

Bain used a single decision to address the issues in the deaths of Robert Thompson, Reece Reid, David McMurtie, Eramiha Pairama, George Mahanga and Charles Finlay.

The results of the inquiry into the deaths of two more people are yet to be released.

No specific recommendations were made in the decision, with Bain instead warning that the industry needed to stay alert to the dangers.