Man found at holiday home dead 'at least six days'

GRANT BRYANT
Last updated 05:00 10/04/2014

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The Christchurch coroner is dealing with the death of a man found in a holiday home in a high-end Queenstown neighbourhood at the weekend - six or seven days after he was believed to have died.

Scant details were available from authorities, except that the man had not been formally identified.

Senior Constable Chris Blackford said details were scant because there had been problems identifying the man.

"There were some issues with identification, due to the nature of decomposition, as it was believed the body had been in the house for six or seven days," he said

Senior Sergeant John Fookes, of Queenstown, confirmed the man had not been formally identified.

The Coroner's Office confirmed Christchurch coroner Richard McElrea was dealing with the case.

The body was removed around noon on Saturday from a modest holiday home in Tucker Beach Rd, which sits near a cluster of designer holiday homes and fulltime residences overlooking the scenic Shotover River.

At least one neighbour had been "warned not to talk to media", and told The Southland Times "just don't go there", in regards to reporting anything about the death. Another neighbour said she saw commercial cleaners at the house on Tuesday.

The home is owned by Keith Hindle, chairman of Wellington's Capital and Coast District Health Board's finance, audit and risk committee. He holds the same roles for Hutt Valley Health Board and is also director of Hindle Investments.

He said the death was still so sensitive he did not think it appropriate to comment without direct approval from the deceased man's family. The man was well-known to him, had a key to the holiday home, and was not a Queenstown resident, he said. 

In the original version of this story Hindle was listed as a board member of Wellington's Capital and Coast District Health Board, and the chairman of the board's finance, audit and risk committee, as well as holding the same positions with the Hutt Valley District Health Board. He served three terms with both boards, with his last term expiring in December 2013.

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- The Southland Times

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