Updated March 25
From 11:59pm Wednesday 25th March 2020 New Zealand is in COVID-19 Level 4 Alert.
Until advised by the Ministry of Health the following will take effect:
No Public Funeral Services
No Private Family Funeral Services
What happens at Alert Level 4
To stop the spread of COVID-19, gathering together for funerals and tangi is not permitted while New Zealand is at Level 4.
This applies to all deceased persons, regardless of when and where they died, or the cause of death.
It includes gatherings at burials, cremations, memorial services, funeral wakes, processions or receptions and social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors.
We must protect people’s health and ensure our health system can look after New Zealanders who become sick.
Bereaved families and whānau from all cultures and backgrounds will find this time challenging. This makes it even more important that we show each other kindness and caring, manaakitanga and aroha.
Our member firms provide essential services and will continue working during Level 4. Please phone your local FDANZ Funeral Director (Find a Funeral Director) who will be able to help you through this difficult time. They will be able to guide you on the best options for your situation, which may include:
- Holding the funeral or tangi after the Level 4 restrictions ease. Bear in mind that we don’t know when that might be, and there might be practical or cultural reasons why this is not an option.
- Holding a memorial service later when restrictions on gatherings are lifted and it is safe to get together.
In this unprecedented national situation, not being able to have a funeral, tangi or farewell gathering for a loved one or friend is extremely distressing and painful. It seems all wrong. However, until such time as restrictions are lifted and gatherings are possible again, it’s unfortunately part of the new normal in New Zealand. This lockdown time will eventually pass, but in the meantime your Funeral Director can let you know about the options available for the care of your loved one right now. They can also discuss with you options for gatherings to honour the person’s life at a later date.
Although a lot is out of your control right now, there are still some things you could choose to do to honour and farewell your loved one or friend while you are in isolation. Some of the following ideas might be helpful at this time.
Remember, everyone is different, and we are all isolated in different circumstances right now.
Download the FDANZ COVID-19 Grief Resource and adapt the ideas as you need to.
There are also many organisations that offer help and support for grief and trauma ranging from resources, counselling and support groups. Contact details for these organisations here.
Please keep an eye on the MOH and NZ Govt Covid-19 websites as they provide up-to-date information:
NZ Govt: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/