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Sunday 12 April 2015

Hughes coroner unconcerned for family - Goff

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 7th October 2013

Corporal Dougie Hughes
Coroner Gordon Matenga has shown no concern for the feelings of the family of the late Corporal Dougie Hughes, says Opposition Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.

Goff was one of a group of MPs who asked the Solicitor General to open up the findings of Matenga and the Defence Force after Hughes, a gay soldier, took his own life after being made to out himself to another soldier in Afghanistan last April. The Solicitor General has declined the request.

"My concern is the ultimate effect of the coroner's decision was to stop public debate and government accountability about what was in the Court of Inquiry decisions. The coroner has effectively given cover to the Government to say nothing, and perhaps do nothing," Goff has told the Sunday Star Times.

"I would have thought first and foremost you look to the feelings of the relatives and obviously the coroner didn't bother about that because he took an action which was against the wishes of the family - which was to suppress the Court of Inquiry."

Goff says he will now take the matter to the Chief Coroner.

Hughes mother is reported as saying that she too wants to take the matter further.

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