A Coroner has found it unreasonable to expect the Gisborne District Council to have a fence erected around a riverbank where a toddler drowned.
The Council has come under criticism from the family of two-year-old Sukhraj Singh, who along with his cousin, fell into the river in November last year.
The family says it had repeatedly pleaded with the council to build a fence around Atkinson Park Reserve.
Coroner Christopher Devonport says while fencing the riverbank may have prevented the tragedy, it raises the question of whether all rivers, streams, beaches, lakes and ponds near residential areas, with access from Council land, should be fenced.
He's calling that impracticable, and says it's more reasonable for adults to ensure young children in their care are supervised near water hazards.