A coroner's report into the death of Rosemary Ives has called for a raft of law changes, and tougher penalties, to reduce the number of people accidently killed by hunters.
In releasing his finding into the death of the former Nelson school teacher, Coroner Dr Wallace Bain has called for urgent law changes to make a charge of manslaughter applicable to all such cases.
He wanted others in the hunting party to also bear similar responsibility for the death, even if they didn’t pull the trigger.
Rosemary Ives, 25, was fatally shot by Hamilton man Andrew Mears while camping with her partner in Kaimanawa Forest Park near Turangi in 2010.
Mears, who was "spotlighting" with a group of friends, mistook Ms Ives' head-lamp for deers eyes as she was brushing her teeth.
He was later jailed for two years on a charge of manslaughter, while others in his hunting party pleaded guilty to breaching their hunting permits by hunting after dark, and on Conservation Department land and were fined $2500 each.
Mears was released this year after serving 11 months of his sentence.
A coronial hearing was held in March, with the coroner this morning releasing his findings.
He called on the Law Commission and the Government to "urgently investigate" the rules and regulations applying to hunting deaths.
He also called for harsher penalties for those who failed to properly identify targets.
"Whether in order to emphasise the extreme seriousness of hunters shooting dead other human beings because their targets have not been properly identified, the time has come that the more appropriate charge should be manslaughter."
He also recommended more education and messages to hunters over the obligations under the Arms code and general firearms safety and hunter training.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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