A Hawke's Bay coroner has died after an accident at his home.

Coroner Christopher Devonport, 64, died yesterday at Hawke's Bay Hospital following an accident at his Hastings home, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.

It is understood the accident occurred on Tuesday and involved a fall.

He is survived by his wife Chrissie and two adult children.


Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall today acknowledged Coroner Devonport's contribution and service during the past 11 years, all of which were based the Hawke's Bay.

"Coroner Devonport will be remembered by his colleagues as a quiet and hardworking coroner who was dedicated to his family," she said.

"He was always willing to take on extra work if asked and ... contributed greatly to the way in which the coronial service has developed."

"I extend my sympathies to Coroner Devonport's family, friends and colleagues. He will be greatly missed."

Coroner Devonport was one of the first fulltime coroners, appointed when the Coroners Act 2006 came into force in 2007.

Ministry of Justice acting chief executive Carl Crafar also said Coroner Devonport "helped shape the role of the modern New Zealand coroner".

"He was widely respected and his death is a great loss to New Zealand's coronial services."

Before his appointment, Coroner Devonport worked in private legal practice on the east coast of the North Island for 30 years.


He also served on the committees of various community service and sporting clubs, philanthropic trusts and school boards.

Coroner Devonport was one of the first full time coroners. Photo / File
Coroner Devonport was one of the first full time coroners. Photo / File