HOME FUNERALS, LED BY WHĀNAU
THE DIY APPROACH
In Aotearoa it is perfectly legal and achievable for any individual or group to manage all aspects of the funeral without employing the services of a funeral professional. This includes from the moment of death up to final disposition of the body, and all times in between. In a home funeral the deceased is kept at home, where family take care of the body and have autonomy as leaders of the funeral process. A home funeral allows care of the deceased to be the domain of the community, giving them space to engage fully with the ritual. Home funerals are said to impact positively on the experience of grief, giving intimacy to emotions throughout the entire process.
Consider this as akin to arranging wedding plans, or a big birthday celebration. Yes, there is a lot to do but there is also sound information out there to resource yourself with and plenty of support once you know where to find it. Just like a wedding, the key is in being prepared by planning ahead as a team. Of course, you could opt for a blended arrangement whereby a funeral director organises some aspects of the funeral and you do the rest. How much is entirely up to you.
Below is a PDF file of collated creditable New Zealand (mostly NZ) resources and the links to their respective websites, documents or videos. None of us know what we don't know, so please, use the following resources as a beginning point, designed to help you find the information you need before deciding if this is the right option for you. It is a work in progress so check back from time to time for updates. Do feel free to email any questions, or share your home funeral story.
Feel free to print and share while respecting the copyright of this document. Do not alter in any way, and if using this for your own website or business, please provide a link and acknowledge credit to Ake Ake Shrouds. If you are unable to access the file, email me to request a digital attachment or hard copy.