Long wait in rest-home death probe

Sunday News - - NEWS -

PO­LICE say they are still are await­ing the re­sults of tox­i­col­ogy tests more than two years af­ter the un­ex­plained death of a 91-year-old woman in a Golden Bay rest home.

Noe­line Tait died on July 27, 2015 at Golden Bay Com­mu­nity Health, a cen­tre on the out­skirts of Takaka that in­cludes a med­i­cal prac­tice with GP ser­vices, a ru­ral hospi­tal and res­i­den­tial el­derly care.

De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Craig John­ston, of Nel­son po­lice, said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, on be­half of the coroner, was still ac­tive.

‘‘We’re not in a po­si­tion to re­port back to the coroner,’’ John­ston said.

In­quiries into the cir­cum­stances of Tait’s death started in 2015 and all in­ter­views had been com­pleted. How­ever, po­lice were wait­ing for the re­sults of ‘‘spe­cialised’’ tox­i­col­ogy tests – re­sults they in­tended to chase, John­ston said.

A Min­istry of Jus­tice spokes­woman con­firmed the case was ac­tive be­fore the coroner and a hear­ing had not yet been sched­uled.

Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Health funds Nel­son Bays Pri­mary Health to run Golden Bay Com­mu­nity Health, which opened in Septem­ber 2013. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all three or­gan­i­sa­tions de­clined to com­ment while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way as did a spokesman from the Min­istry of Health.

A member of Tait’s fam­ily de­clined to com­ment.

The 29-bed Golden Bay Com­mu­nity Health cen­tre opened in 2013.

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