Assurances around funerals in lockdown

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New Zealanders that lose a loved one during  lockdown can still have a meaningful farewell for them.

Funeral Directors Association president Gary Taylor says losing a loved one is hard at any time, 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,” says Gary.

This includes fully virtual viewings and funerals, he says. 

“There are options to consider, and we are available to provide advice and guidance on a full range of them.”

 During Alert Level 4 funeral directors are an essential service and only registered funeral directors are allowed to handle deceased persons. This means that a family is unable to care for or transport a deceased person. 

Funeral Directors Association chief executive David Moger says, “All our members are registered funeral directors and in addition also follow a set of standards and are subject to ongoing monitoring of compliance with those standards”. 

“If a family is faced with the loss of a loved one during this Level 4 lockdown, they can contact one of our members to get the help and support they need, assured that they can do so safely and to the highest of standards,” says David. 

“The funeral sector is currently largely unregulated, so it is easy for anyone to set up as a funeral director. Our standards, compliance monitoring and complaints process are only available through our members as your assurance of a meaningful farewell,” he says. 

“Funeral Director Association members have access to the latest advice and guidance on Covid-19 protocols and have all the necessary skills and experience to keep families safe.”

For those that lose a loved one, there is a list of all association members in the Find a Funeral Director on the website.

During previous lockdowns, the Funeral Directors Association worked with the Government on the different protocols for funerals and tangihanga at different alert levels and the ability for members to continue to function as an essential service through a specific Covid-19 Public Health Response Order. “As we get on top of this outbreak, it seems likely that we will again have a border between different areas at different alert levels,” says David. 

“We have reconfirmed with the Government that the Covid-19 Public Health Response Order will be recognised to enable our members to travel regionally across alert levels to care for grieving families and their loved ones.”

Gary says, “New Zealanders in shock and grief at losing a loved one can know that we are here to help them and that they do not need to delay in calling us.”

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