1 Jun 2012

Fiji post-mortem procedures changed after NZ death

3:12 pm on 1 June 2012

Fiji changed its post-mortem procedures after a New Zealand woman who was killed on her honeymoon was returned home without her vital organs.

Rebecca Louise Stockwell, of Blenheim, was snorkelling with her husband when the 26-year-old was struck on the head by a boat propeller in 2007.

In findings issued on Friday, Coroner Christopher Devonport notes that the practice of the pathologist in Fiji was to dispose of some organs following post-mortems.

In the report, pathologist Dr Litia Tudravu said she was embarrased by the non-return of Mrs Stockwell's organs and said procedures have been changed to make sure there is better consultation with families.

The Coroner also raised concerns about the speed at which the boat, which hit Mrs Stockman, was travelling.

He notes the driver deviated from the normal channel and went through an area popular with swimmers.

The driver was convicted of manslaughter two years after the tragedy and served one year in prison.