Often the deceased has made their wishes known, but if not then it is up to the family to choose. Whatever your choice, Geoffrey T Sowman Funeral Directors will be able to take care of the arrangements for you.
In New Zealand, there are four options available: burial, cremation, burial at sea or donating a body to medical science.
In the past, this was the most common choice and is still favoured by many. It provides a family with a focal point, a grave to go to where they remember their loved one. Burial involves buying a burial plot, paying an interment fee which covers the cost of digging the grave and maintaining it, and usually buying a memorial or headstone. In almost all cases, the places people can be buried are limited by law to official cemeteries or traditional burial grounds.
Cremation provides greater flexibility when choosing a final resting place because there is no restriction to specific places of burial. Ashes can be buried in a cemetery or special memorial area, or they can be scattered somewhere the family or deceased thought appropriate, such as in a garden, at sea, or in a favourite place. Some people split the ashes between different places. A memorial or plaque is often chosen to provide the focal point for the family.
The process of cremation involves placing the body within the casket into a cremator – a large metal box with room for only one casket. The cremation process takes approximately two to four hours. The ashes are removed from the cremator and put in a container, usually made of plastic, about 30cm long and 15cm deep. These containers are designed to be put into a memorial urn. We have a range of attractive urns available for you to choose from, and these will normally be available within 48 hours.
This requires a special casket, which we can provide. There are specially designated areas off the New Zealand coastline for burial at sea, which we can show you and then help with the arrangements.
If there is interest in the option of organ donation or leaving the body to medical science, arrangements need to be made prior to death. We can provide information about both these options.
For information or advice please click here or phone Geoffrey T Sowman Funeral Directors on
(03) 578 4719.