Rotorua coroner Wallace Bain retires today after 28 years of service.

Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall put out a statement today thanking the long-serving coroner for his "passion and energy" he brought to the role.

She said he served the community well and the retirement was a "well-deserved opportunity to relax and recharge" for him.

Coronor Bain first became a coroner in the King Country and then Taupō areas, from 1992, in a part time role.


He was appointed as a full-time coroner in 2007 when the new Coroners Act came into
effect and played an instrumental role in reforming the coronial system at the time.

Prior to this, Coroner Bain was Mayor of Waitomo in the mid-1990s. He was also a registered Pharmacist and practised widely in the health area.

"It has been a real honour to have served as a coroner and I have enjoyed working with a wonderful team of coronial staff," Coronor Bain said.

Throughout his tenure he conducted a number of significant inquests and many of his recommendations were adopted to help prevent future deaths.

Some included fixing roadways, amending hunting rules, and recommendations about bullying and text messaging.

It's the child abuse cases, such as Nia Glassie and Moko Rangitoheriri, that have most stuck with him though.

"I'm deeply concerned at the horrific child abuse figures in our country," he said.

"Along with the increasing suicide statistics, especially youth suicide."


Coronor Bain will remain based in Rotorua.

"After climbing the mountain, I can finally enjoy the view. I will retire from work, but not from life."

His last day is today.

Meanwhile, two new relief coroners have been appointed in Rotorua.

They join six other relief coroners based across the country from Dunedin to Whangarei.

The positions, on approval from the Attorney-General, were funded as part of Budget 2019.

As part of this, the government pledged $7.5 million to fund eight part-time coroners, and the support staff needed to fulfil the role.

The focus of the relief coroners will be to provide support as duty coroners and help to reduce the backlog of cases. The average time it took to close a coronial case in 2018/19 was 344 days.