Burial and cremation duties
The Ministry of Health administers the Burial & Cremation Act 1964 & Regulations and delegates duties to regional public health services.
Our duties and responsibilities
The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service's duties and responsibilities include:
closure of cemeteries
establishment of crematoria
burial in a special place
appointment of medical referees
transportation of bodies internationally
burial at sea
They do not include the operational activities of cemeteries and crematoria (usually run by councils, trustees or funeral directors).
Refer to Ministry of Health for information about how to handle deceased people in an emergency.
Disinterment is the unearthing of a grave to remove a coffin or remains of a deceased person. It requires a special licence, issued by the Ministry of Health, that you apply for through a region's public health service. A health protection officer must also observe a disinterment.
Transporting a body to another country
Where the body of a person who was visiting New Zealand has to be repatriated, a funeral director may request a certificate from a region's public health service that states the cause of death and the absence or presence of an infectious disease.
Guidelines & Information
[Click to download]
Related LinksBurial and Cremation Act 1964 Cremation Regulations 1973
Page last updated: 29/03/2023