The inquest into the death of North Shore teenager Christie Marceau has opened in the Auckland District Court.

Coroner Katharine Greig is presiding.

"Christie Marceau died in violent and tragic circumstances," she began, just after 10am today.

"I want to start the inquest by acknowledging Christie's life and acknowledge her parents who are here today."

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Christie, 18, died in her mother Tracey's arms in November 2011 after she was stabbed repeatedly in her family home by Akshay Chand.

Detective Sergeant James Watson detailed Chand's offending against Christie in September 2011. Photo / Nick Reed
Detective Sergeant James Watson detailed Chand's offending against Christie in September 2011. Photo / Nick Reed

Chand killed Christie a month after he was released on bail on charges of kidnapping and assaulting her.

Despite opposition from the police and Marceau family, Judge David McNaughton released Chand on bail.

Greig said the point of the inquest was:

• to look at the administrative process at the North Shore District Court in the lead up to Chand being bailed

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• to canvass the police bail checking processes and protocols and whether they were adequate

• to establish Chand's mental health before Christie's death

• and to ascertain what information Judge McNaughton had available to him when he made the bail decision

Greig said the inquest did not have the jurisdiction to review Judge McNaughton's decision - and she would not be doing so.

She said it was "not appropriate for the inquest to encroach on judicial process".

However, she may make recommendations in relation to that process.

The first witness called today was Detective Sergeant James Watson, who oversaw the investigation into Christie's death.

Watson outlined Chand's offending against Christie in September 2011 when he kidnapped and assaulted her in his Hillcrest home.

Chand and Christie attended the same school and for a short time, worked together, but were not close friends.

After Chand's arrest he was refused bail by Judge Barbara Morris, and remanded in custody.

Police opposed bail, and Christie wrote a letter to the court outlining that she did not want her attacker released.

In October Chand was released on bail by Judge McNaughton.

On November 11, first thing in the morning, Chand went to the Marceau house - despite being banned from having any contact with her or going near the family home - and killed her.

He stabbed her repeatedly - the fatal strike to her head.

Watson detailed Christie's last moments in court today.

"[Chand] only stopped stabbing when the blade of his knife bent at 90 degrees, rendering it useless," Watson said.

That knife had come from his mother's kitchen. He had hidden it days earlier when he was planning the attack on Christie.

Tracey Marceau and her husband Brian left the courtroom for Watson's evidence, sparing themselves from the horrendous details.

They are expected to give evidence later today.