Death, Funerals, Burial and Cremation: a Review of the Burial and Cremation Act 1964 and Related Legislation.    This important government review is open now for public submissions, extended closing date is 5pm Saturday 31 October 2020.

"The Ministry of Health is seeking feedback on the options from industry and other interested stakeholders, including the general public. This consultation will help inform the development of a modern, fit-for-purpose legislation for death, burial, cremation and funerals.

Given the range and complexity of the issues involved in updating the legislation, this consultation document is split into five sections:

  1. Death certification and auditing

  2. Regulation of the funeral services sector

  3. Burial and cemetery management

  4. Cremation regulations and the medical referee system

  5. New methods of body disposal."

You can access the review document here : ​

Small chest freezer on loan
With more consideration being given to questioning the need or appropriateness of embalming, the primary alternative method of after death care becomes keeping the body cool, and at home this means using ice packs. Keeping those ice packs frozen in our home freezers where food is stored can be a barrier. We were fortunate that a family who used their own small chest freezer for the ice packs, has gifted it into our care. This freezer is now available on loan to families who use our services, with grateful thanks to Lisa and whanau. 

Natural burial site in Whangarei
Celebrations and congratulations to the Whangarei District Council who, in July 2018, have opened a natural burial site in a section of mature trees at the Maunu Cemetery.  This is the first of it's kind in New Zealand, and the only natural burial site north of Auckland. The idea is that the burial is as natural as possible, with minimal impact to the environment. This means there are certain restrictions on both the deceased and caskets, along with the method of burial. Burials in this area are dug to 800mm, this is so the casket or shroud sits in the active layer of earth and will break down at a faster rate than that of a traditional burial plot. Bodies must not be embalmed and there are conditions around the materials and construction of the caskets and shrouds that can be used. This is an excellent new option.

Gentle Conversations
A free compilation of questions to support gentle conversations around preparing for death, compiled and presented by local Whangarei woman, Jane Cunningham.

Death Cafe

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to drink a cuppa, eat cake and discuss death. The objective is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives. Death Cafes are happening worldwide, inviting people to a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

Click here to find out more about our Death Cafe in Whangarei

End of Life Services Online
Te Hokinga ā Wairua is a free government online resource that helps guide people through bereavement, and helps people to create their own personalised plan for end of life preferences and information.  Te Hokinga ā Wairua presents a timeline of what to do in the days, weeks, and months following a death.

Natural burials

The not-for-profit organisation that introduced certified natural burials to New Zealand and advises local councils on how to establish natural burial cemeteries across the country.  Promoting, certifying and monitoring cemeteries, coffin makers and funeral directors for adherence to the standards.  Will advise consumers of their rights.

Good Funeral Guide UK
The Good Funeral Guide is your trusted, independent, not-for-profit information resource for funeral advice in the UK. What if we could do this in New Zealand? 

© 2019 by A Graceful Undertaking Ltd