Kiwi Owned & Locally Based

Below are some questions people frequently ask with regards to funeral or cremation arrangements. If your question is not listed here, please do contact us and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

A Funeral Service typically features the deceased present in a casket at the service. In contrast, a Memorial Service may or may not have ashes or a remembrance service.


Memorial Services are becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand. It may be less stressful for the surviving family to plan, as it can be organised in your own time. This allows you to choose and prepare a venue truly befitting your loved one.

For example, you could arrange a gathering at the family home, the deceased’s church or even a natural memorial at a beach or special place of remembrance. Some may decide to hire a boat charter to scatter the ashes at sea or intern (bury) them and plant a Memorial Tree.

Please get in touch with Bay Cremation Care if you require assistance finding a celebrant for your memorial service.

If your loved one dies at home with support from palliative care services, the staff on duty will help with the formalities, including notifying the treating doctor.

They may even call us on your behalf to arrange the transfer of the deceased into our care.

If your loved one dies at home and is not receiving care from support services, you will need to do the following:

  • Contact the person’s usual doctor. They will need to officially verify that death has occurred and confirm that they are happy to sign the medical certificate of cause of death
  • Notify family and friends that are not present
  • Call Bay Cremation Care to arrange the transfer of the deceased into our care

If your loved one dies in a nursing home, the home’s staff will take care of all medical formalities.

You will then need to contact Bay Cremation Care to arrange the transfer of the deceased into our care.

If your loved one dies in a hospital, the following steps will take place:

  • The hospital staff will notify the treating doctor so that they can complete the medical death certificate
  • Staff will inform the next-of-kin and family, who will need to contact Bay Cremation Care
  • We will arrange for the transfer of the deceased from the hospital into our care


Whether the unexpected death occurs at home or in a public place, the death may be referred to the Coroner’s Office.

The Coroner will usually be involved in the following situations:

  • If the treating doctor did not expect the person’s death
  • If death occurs as the result of an accident or injury
  • The death occurred while the deceased was in police custody, jail, or an involuntary patient in a psychiatric institution
  • Death of a child in a juvenile detention centre
  • If the person died in a violent or unnatural way
  • If the person died as the result of an aesthetic
  • If a doctor has been unable to sign a death certificate stating the cause of death
  • If the identity of the deceased is unknown

When someone dies unexpectedly, as listed above, the police may also become involved. An ambulance officer will usually be the first person on the scene of a death. They may try to call the deceased’s GP and require police and the Coroner’s involvement.

At this stage, the police will contact a contracted funeral director to transport the deceased to the nearest holding facility under the Coroner’s jurisdiction. If a post-mortem is required, the deceased will be taken to a hospital.

The Coroner will liaise between parties, including the police and pathologist, to establish the cause of death. The body will only be released to the family once the Coroner has completed the paperwork. The funeral planning can then begin.

Please note that you are not obliged to use the funeral director who transported the deceased to the Coroner for your funeral arrangements. If you would like Bay Cremation Care to be involved in your loved one’s funeral, please contact us. 

After a death has occurred, the following people need to be notified:

  • The next-of-kin and family members
  • The family doctor, if the Coroner has not been informed, to obtain a medical death and/or cremation certificate
  • The solicitor or executor of the will
  • Your preferred Funeral Director

When choosing clothing for your loved one, a good starting point is to consider what attire they may have chosen for themselves.

If the death was expected, the deceased may have already chosen what they would like to be dressed in. Otherwise, the family will choose their clothes.

The outfit should include underwear and can consist of nightwear, casual wear, or formal clothing. We recommend selecting something that reflects their personal style.