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For any media enquiries please email linda@funeraldirectors.co.nz or phone 04 473 7475.

Click on the dropdown boxes below to view the latest press releases, interviews and articles. 

Disappointment over repeated failure to increase funeral grant

31 May 2024

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand is disappointed the Government’s budget has once again failed to include an increase for the Work and Income Funeral Grant.

The Funeral Grant is a means-tested grant available to those with extremely low income who need help paying for a funeral but the current $2,559.20 won’t even cover average burial costs. Read more.....

Funeral Directors Association warns about funeral live stream scams

1 March 2024

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand is warning New Zealanders about a new funeral live streaming scam that asks for money to view a funeral live stream.

Chief Executive, Gillian Boyes, says scammers create fake Facebook pages then send friend requests to families and friends of the deceased with links to the scam sites. Users are asked for personal details including a credit card number to watch the live stream. Read more...

Traditional elements still important as the funeral industry changes

16 November 2023

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand has today published a report providing a snapshot of death and the funeral industry in New Zealand. The report also captures insights into the types of funerals favoured by New Zealanders.

Funeral Directors Association Chief Executive, Gillian Boyes says for the first time in the industry women now outnumber men.

“We see this particularly in our younger workers, but we have also recently celebrated our first female long service award recipients,” says Ms Boyes. Read more.....

Download 2023 NZ Funeral Industry Trends Report 

 

Survey reinforces importance of a funeral for mental health

21 September 2023

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand is reminding New Zealanders of the importance of a meaningful farewell for managing their mental health as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

It comes after a recent survey of grief counsellors, conducted by the Grief Centre, shows that not having some kind of meaningful farewell has an overwhelmingly negative impact on the grief journey.

Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand Chief Executive, Gillian Boyes says her members have always known their families can better manage their way through the early stages of grief when they have an opportunity to say a proper farewell. Read more....

 

Time for action on bureaucratic denial of dignity in death

31 August 2023

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand’s 2023 member survey paints a sad picture for New Zealand’s most vulnerable at a time of mourning. It highlights the massive shortfall between the Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) funeral grant and the cost of even a basic direct cremation, regional disparities, and an onerous and inconsistent system, compounding stress for low-income families. Read more......     

WINZ funeral grant fact sheet

2023 Survey Results - Effectiveness of the Work & Income Funeral Grant

 

Annual council increases compound cost of dying

11 July 2023

Funeral directors say the latest cost of living increases to council cemetery prices are adding to the financial burden for those relying on a Work and Income Funeral Grant to help with funeral costs. And with burial costs up to six times higher in some parts of New Zealand than in others a post code lottery on death is compounding the issue. Read more.....

 

Cost of dying crisis for low-income families

5 April 2023

Eligible low-income families are facing heart wrenching decisions when it comes to farewelling their loved ones, according to a Funeral Directors Association member survey.

On 1 April the Work and Income (WINZ) Funeral Grant increased 7% to $2,445, as part of an annual CPI adjustment, but it still only covers a third of the cost of a simple ceremony and burial. Read more....

 

Funeral Directors ready to provide support to Cyclone Gabrielle victims

21 February 2023

As the first funerals for victims of Cyclone Gabrielle begin, Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand President, Rachel Benns, is reassuring the public there is plenty of capacity to provide families with a meaningful farewell. Read more...

 

StardustME offers memorial space flights for the deceased

25 August 2022

For the first time, New Zealanders are being offered the opportunity to have ashes from the remains of a loved one launched into space to be carried by a satellite around Earth’s orbit. Read more....

 

Calls to increase Work and Income Funeral Grant after cemetery price increases

8 July 2022

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand is calling on Government to urgently increase the Work and Income Funeral Grant after the release of 1 July council burial and cremation costs.

A sample of 17 council sites shows the average burial cost is now over $4,000 with significant jumps happening in Tauranga, Hastings, Nelson, and the Far North over the last two years. Read more ...

 

Time for meaningful action to address the cost of dying for low income families


28 April 2022

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand is calling on Government to increase the Work and Income (WINZ) Funeral Grant in the 2022 Budget so that eligible low income families are able to farewell loved ones with dignity and respect.

New Chief Executive, Gillian Boyes, says the current maximum of $2,280.72 grant is woefully inadequate. This amount covers just 37% of the cost of a simple funeral cremation and only 29% of a funeral and burial, well short of the essential funeral costs that the grant was designed to cover. Read more....

 

Leadership changes for Funeral Directors Association

27 January 2022

A new President and Chief Executive have begun their roles at the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand. Read more.....

 

Funeral Directors Association calls for further Government change of heart

15 September 2021

The Funeral Directors Association this morning announced that it has called on the Government for a further change of heart for funerals and tangihanga as the lockdowns are extended for another week.

The Association has also proposed a change in approach to support the vaccination roll out.

“Yesterday we sent a proposal to the Prime Minister and Dr Bloomfield seeking a change to allow funerals under Alert Level 4 and an increase in the number allowed to attend inside at Alert Level 2,” said Gary Taylor, President of the Funeral Directors Association “and we have also proposed a new innovation to encourage support for the vaccination roll out.” Read more...

 

Funeral Directors Association welcomes Government change of heart

1 September 2021

The Funeral Directors Association this morning announced that it welcomes the Government’s change of heart over viewings of the deceased at Alert Level 4.
“Last week we sent a proposal to Dr Bloomfield and the Prime Minister seeking a change to allow viewings to farewell a loved one under Alert Level 4,” said Gary Taylor, President of the Funeral Directors Association “and when we checked the Ministry of Health website this morning we were delighted to see they have accepted it.” read more....

 

Funeral Directors Association provides New Zealanders with assurance as Level 4 lockdown continues

23 August 2021

The Funeral Directors Association has this morning provided New Zealanders that lose a loved one in Alert Level 4 that they can still have the assurance of a meaningful farewell. “Losing a loved one is hard at any time,” said Gary Taylor, President of the Funeral Directors Association, “but to lose one during Alert Level 4 has got to be one of the toughest.”
“During Alert Level 4 there are no funerals or viewings allowed, however Funeral Director Association members have the experience and creativity to support New Zealanders through Alert Level 4.” Taylor said, “including fully virtual viewings and funerals. There are options to consider, and we are available to provide advice and guidance on a full range of them.” read more...

 

Update on Funerals and Tangihanga

1 March 2021

The Funeral Directors Association has this morning reacted to the announcement of Level 3 for Auckland and Level 2 for the rest of the country for the next 7 days. “Once again, our members are working hard to contact all those families who have funeral arrangements for the next 7 days and helping to support them in their grief which has been exacerbated by this new lockdown.” Said Gary Taylor, President of the Funeral Directors Association. “We know the impact that delaying a meaningful farewell can have on the grieving process and how important it is for families to be able to gather and share memories of a lost loved one.” read more....

 

Good news but not out of the woods yet

18 February 2021

Following its media release on Monday, The Funeral Directors Association has today welcomed the reduction in alert levels and provided an update on discussions with the Ministry of Health over essential health worker status.

“Yesterday’s announcement is great news for grieving families across New Zealand.” said Gary Taylor, President of the Funeral Directors Association, “Our members can now work with families to replan the meaningful farewells that were postponed during the Level 3 and Level 2 lockdowns in the first half of the week.” The Funeral Directors Association estimates that over 200 funerals will need to be replanned across New Zealand as a result of the lockdowns. Read more....

 

Funeral Directors Association reacts to the new lockdown levels

15 February 2021

The Funeral Directors Association has today reacted to the announcement of the Level 3 and Level 2 lockdowns. “The sudden announcement has had an immediate impact upon grieving families” said Gary Taylor President of the Funeral Directors Association.

‘Telling a family that they have to delay the meaningful farewell of their loved one less than 24 hours beforehand is one of the hardest things we have to do” he said.

“Most of this week is already booked with funerals after the short week last week and so a substantial number of families are being hit by this”, Taylor said. Read more.....

Funeral Directors Association endorses Consumer NZ call for review into funeral insurance sales

23 July 2020

The Funeral Directors Association today announced its support for a review of funeral insurance sales practices.

"We know funeral insurance can help offset the costs of a funeral" said Gary Taylor President of the Funeral Directors Association "but it is important to know what you will get back for your premiums".

"It can often be the case that the premiums paid exceed the sum insured and that excess can be substantial" Taylor said. Read more....

 

Funeral Directors Association welcomes the exemption for funerals at Level 2

13 May 2020

The Funeral Directors Association has today welcomed the announcement of an exemption for funerals under Level 2.

“We always knew this was a hard decision for the Government” said Funeral Directors Association President Gary Taylor “and we have continued to work with them to find a solution that meets the needs of families and maintains the hard won gains of the Level 4 and Level 3 lockdowns.” Read more....

 

Funeral Directors Association condemns the Level 2 announcement on funerals and tangi as cruel and without compassion

11 May 2020

The Funeral Directors Association has today condemned the Level 2 announcement of no more than 10 people attending a funeral or tangi under Level 2 as both cruel and without compassion.
Commenting on the Government announcement, Funeral Directors Association President Gary Taylor said “This is a cruel and heartless blow to the thousands of New Zealand families who have lost loved ones and is unjustifiable.” Read more....

 

COVID-19 Grief Resource for bereaved families and whānau

30 March 2020

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) has today posted on its website a COVID-19 Grief Resource information sheet to support bereaved families, whānau and friends who are extremely distressed that, at this time, no funerals, tangi or farewell gatherings can be held for their loved one. Read more.....

 

Quinquennial Trans-Tasman Funeral Sector Conference

5 March 2020

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) has today released details of the quinquennial Trans-Tasman Funeral Sector Conference.

The event is held alternately with Australia and taking place in Auckland on 10th & 11th March 2020 when over 270 funeral professionals from the both sides of the Tasman will be in attendance.

“Ever 5 years, New Zealand and Australia hold a joint conference and 2020 is our year.” says FDANZ President Gary Taylor, “Much is happening in the funeral sector right now and so this conference comes at an important time for both nations.” he said. Read more....


Whakaari/White Island Eruption

10 December 2019

“We were shocked to hear the news about the eruption and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost loved ones or have not been able to contact them” says FDANZ President Gary Taylor. “FDANZ has already started preparations to support those impacted by this terrible tragedy” Taylor said, “Our District Chair has been in touch with local members and we have activated the NZ Funeral Disaster Response Team”. Read more....

Samoa Measles Crisis

5 December 2019

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) has today released an update on the Samoa Measles Crisis.

“It’s terrible to see the crisis unfolding in Samoa with 60 confirmed deaths, 52 of those being children 4 and under” says FDANZ President Gary Taylor, “and our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones.” Read more....


Take the Time to Talk Awareness Week 8-12 April 2019

8 April 2019

New Zealand’s Take the Time to Talk Awareness Week will be held on 8-12 April, when the funeral profession will be encouraging families throughout New Zealand to share their stories of their loved ones with each other and the wider community to keep their memories alive and support healthy grieving

Funeral homes up and down the country that are members of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) will be distributing leaflets and putting up posters in their communities to promote the idea that sharing stories and planning ahead ensures that when the time comes our funerals are meaningful and have value to those left behind. A meaningful farewell is central to the process of healthy grieving and the wellbeing of our communities. Read more....


Sentencing a reminder to choose funeral home carefully

30 January 2019

The sentencing of the owners of a funeral home that went into liquidation taking with it the deposits of 12 families is a further reminder of the need for people to choose funeral homes carefully, says the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand read more.....

Why aren't politicians facing the other big inevitable topic?

12 September 2023

Taxes are getting a lot of focus in this year’s election. But that other big inevitable, death, remains the topic MPs seem steadfastly keen to ignore.

During Covid, it was only the sustained pressure from our Association and others in the industry on behalf of our families that saw relief from the pain of a complete ban on even private funeral services in Level 4. Frustratingly, we had to fight the battle a second time when funeral limits were initially retained at 10 people in Level 2. We can only hope the lessons learned reports include deathcare provisions as well as healthcare ones. Read more.....

 

Listener - Mourning from afar

10 May 2022
"At level 3, we had families putting names in the hat to decide who could go as a way of being fair. It was truly disheartening" says Funeral Directors Association President Rachel Benns. 
Read more here....

 

Listener - Dead Poor

10 May 2022
For families who need a state grant to bury loved ones, humiliation is compounded by penny-pinching and red tape, write Gillian Boyes
Read more here.....

 

Tova Today FM Show - Covid Deaths - "We're stressing how important it is to hold the funeral"

9 May 2022
Funeral Directors Association President Rachel Benns talks to Tova about the importance of a funeral.
Listen here...

 

NZ Herald - CANVAS Magazine

16 April 2022
Auckland funeral director Rachel Benns on grief, ghosts and saying goodbye 
Read more here...

RNZ - Funeral Directors help hundreds with COVID level changes

1 March 2021 
Click here 

Briefing for Incoming Minister - Louise Upston, Minister of Social Development and Employment

6 December 2023 

We all die. But death shouldn’t have to lead to poor mental health outcomes or debt for those left behind.
We have ideas about how this Government could show a human face on death in a containable way in terms of fiscal risk. About how a simple adjustment to the allowable pre-paid funeral plan maximum could lead to more people financially looking after their own funeral needs. And about how you could help us keep doing what we’re doing - providing an essential private deathcare service, in a more sustainable way.  Read more....