Children of Anna Kingi seek justice

By Aroha Treacher

Five years after the death of Anna Kingi, her children are fighting back and suing the Corrections Department.

With the help of their lawyer Eric Forster, they have lodged a unique claim against the Corrections Department with the Napier High Court.

However for her children, the claim is not about the money, it's about justice for their mother.

On November 21, 2008, while Kingi was on remand at the Auckland Region Women's Correction Facility, she pressed her emergency cell alarm after experiencing heart trouble.

Her calls for help went unanswered by prison staff, and it wasn't until over an hour later they found her dead in her cell.

An inquest into her death found a number of errors by the prison.

The Corrections Department were not willing to front on the subject, but did say in a statement, that the department did accept there were serious issues with the duty staff that night and have apologised unreservedly to the family.

Corrections say they have since improved their procedures since Kingi's death, but their apologies do little to ease the pain of her children.

It is hoped that the claim will be heard this year, something that her children and family hope will finally bring them the closure they are searching for.

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