Family needs to attend Nia’s inquest, group says

Daily Post (Rotorua) 1st March 2010

Nia Glassie’s family should be forced to take part in a coroner’s inquest into the toddler’s death, a New Zealand family-focused lobby group claims. Rotorua Coroner Dr Wallace Bain announced he is holding a pre-inquest into Nia’s death on April 20 and wants organisations wishing to attend to lodge their intentions with the court. Nia’s Tokoroa-based grandfather Glassie Glassie Senior told The Daily Post this week the family wanted to put the incident behind them and they wouldn’t be taking part in the inquest. He said they had lost contact with Nia’s father, Glassie Glassie (Jnr), who was believed to be in Australia.

However, Family First New Zealand national director Bob McCoskrie says the inquest shouldn’t be “optional” for the toddler’s family. He said the inquest into the death of the Rotorua 3-year-old, who died of severe brain injury following ongoing abuse, must tackle the issues of “family breakdown and dysfunction” and for that reason the Glassie family should be ordered to appear. Dr Bain hasn’t ruled out ordering the Glassies to take part. He said in a statement yesterday that “these matters are to be considered at the pre-inquest hearing and subsequently any person can be summoned to attend the Coroner’s Court as with any court”. Mr McCoskrie said there were a multitude of questions to be asked including the responsiveness and actions of government and local agencies working with the family leading up to the death.