Funeral directors ruled essential workers as tangi and services suspended

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Funeral Directors Association is working with whānau to replan tangihanga delayed by the last lockdown.

Association president Gary Taylor is also offering help to whānau who have lost a loved one and are in need of support to manage funeral arrangements.

“Anyone experiencing the death of a loved one during the lockdown period should contact one of our members immediately for help and support knowing that they can do so safely,” Taylor says.

As of 6am on Sunday, Auckland went back into lockdown under Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country in Alert Level 2.

In Level 3 funerals and tangihanga are limited to a maximum of 10 attending and at Level 2 to 100.

“During the last lockdown the most favoured option was to delay the whole funeral and we will be offering a range of options taking into account this longer one," Taylor says.

Family choices

Taylor said that can include "taking care of the loved one for an extended period of time to let the lockdown finish or staging different aspects of the funeral at different times depending upon family circumstances.” 

The Funeral Directors Association has been working with the Ministry of Health over the weekend to look at essential travel options for funeral directors.

Association chief executive David Moger confirmed this morning that an exemption order has been sent to police so association funeral directors can cross borders.

“I am pleased to confirm that Health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield has signed an exemption order allowing funeral directors and embalmers to travel," Moger says.