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TIMELINE: Folole Muliaga

Published: 12:28PM Tuesday September 23, 2008 Source: ONE News

A coroner's report has found a link between Folole Muliaga's death and Mercury Energy's cutting off of her power.

The following is a timeline of events surrounding Muliaga's death.

May 29, 2007
The Muliaga family in south Auckland owes less than $200 on their power bill. They attempt to pay some of it, but not enough for Mercury Energy. The company switches off their power supply and three hours later Folole Muliaga, a woman who relied on an oxygen machine to help her breathe, is dead.

June 02, 2007
The power company involved issues a public apology. Mighty River Power, which sells electricity through its retail business Mercury Energy, admits something clearly went wrong leading up to the death of Folole Muliaga and says it will do everything it can to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.

June 04, 2007
More than 400 family and friends of Folole Muliaga pay their respects at a private funeral service in Auckland.

June 05, 2007
Prime Minister Helen Clark announces a raft of changes that will alter the way power companies deal with customers who are having trouble paying their bills.

June 06, 2007
Hundreds of people turn out for Muliaga's public memorial service.

June 12, 2007
A police investigation decides no one will be charged in relation to the death Muliaga. The police say there is no evidence to justify charges in relation to Mercury Energy, its contractor Vircom or its staff.

June 25, 2007
Mercury Energy announces a range of new initiatives to improve its ability to identify and assist vulnerable customers after it admits it had contact with the Muliaga family some weeks before it disconnected the family's power.

August 23, 2007
The Chief Coroner announces he will conduct an inquest into the death of Folole Muliaga.

February 08, 2008
The chief coroner steps down from presiding over the inquest into the death. Judge Neil MacLean steps aside because of an alleged conflict of interest.

February 13, 2008
A new coroner, Gordon Matenga, is appointed to hear the inquest into Muliaga's death.

May 19, 2008
An inquest into how Muliaga died starts with emotional testimony from her family.

May 22, 2008
The contractor who disconnected Muliaga's power three hours before she died appears in the Coroner's Court to give evidence.

The Mercury Energy contractor tells the court he had spoken to Folole Muliaga after he disconnected her power but neither she nor her son told him she had a medical problem.

The contractor says that while he did notice tubes going into Muliaga's nose, he did not want to ask her about it as he thought it was none of his business. He also says he did not see an oxygen machine or hear the alarm going off.

May 29, 2008
The last day of the inquest is the first anniversary of Muliaga's death. The inquest ends with the coroner reserving his decision.

In final submissions the lawyers for the family focus on the power company and how it treats vulnerable customers. The power company says it has already made improvements.

The lawyer for the contractor says his client is a decent man and his life has changed forever.

The coroner asks lawyers to send him submissions on whether it is appropriate for him to award costs.

September 23, 2008
A coroner's report finds a link between Folole Muliaga's death and Mercury Energy's cutting off of her power.

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