The NCIS Unit provides support to all approved death investigators and third party researchers to equip them with knowledge and skills to best utilise the NCIS for their approved purpose.

General search and how to guides are designed to build basic system usage skills for all users. Example for common searches are also provided. Advanced training and support is also available.


Data manuals


Data dictionary

The NCIS Data dictionary is a reference manual for those involved in entering, interpreting or analysing information in the NCIS. It includes a comprehensive list of all data fields available in the NCIS with definitions and applications.

Manual - Data dictionary (PDF, 5.18 MB) (External link)


Coding manual

The NCIS Coding manual is a reference manual for those entering data into the NCIS. The manual provides guidance and advice on data fields and common coding scenarios. It contains tailored advice on common external-cause scenarios as well as tips on how to consistently code common scenarios.

Manual - Coding (PDF, 3.58 MB) (External link)

See How to code cases for more advice and support resources.


General search guides


General search guide

A comprehensive introduction to searching the NCIS database.

Guide - General search (PDF, 1.32 MB) (External link)


New Zealand general search guide

A comprehensive introduction to searching for New Zealand data.

Guide - New Zealand general search (PDF, 608.36 KB) (External link)


How to use search functions


Find case search

Search for specific cases using the details available.

Guide - How to use the Find case search (PDF, 2.07 MB) (External link)


Query design search

Build and perform advanced searches across the database to identify cohorts.

Guide - How to use the Query design search screen (PDF, 2.56 MB) (External link)


Coroners search 

Search specifically for keywords in attached reports.

Guide - How to use the Coroners screen (PDF, 2.42 MB) (External link)


External codes search

Search for codes provided by external agencies to the NCIS.

Guide - How to use the External codes search screen (PDF, 1.99 MB) (External link)


Multiple fatality event (MFE) search

Search for linked cases relating to the same incident or event.

Guide - How to use the Multiple fatality event screen (PDF, 1.76 MB) (External link)


How to search by value



Search for cases or cohorts by particular demographics using each of the NCIS search screens.

Guide - How to search by demographics (PDF, 2.92 MB) (External link)


How to search for specific types


Drowning and water related deaths

Search for drowning deaths including water-related locations and activities.

Guide - How to search for drowning and water-related deaths (PDF, 2.1 MB) (External link)


Drug related deaths


Fire related deaths


Intentional self-harm deaths

Search for deaths related to suicide and intentional self-harm.

Guide - How to search for intentional self-harm deaths (PDF, 149.21 KB) (External link)


Transport related deaths

Search for transport-related deaths including vehicle types.

Guide - How to search for transport-related deaths (PDF, 120.03 KB) (External link)