Death, Funerals, Burial and Cremation: a Review of the Burial and Cremation Act 1964 and Related Legislation

Submissions close 5.00 pm, Saturday 31 October 2020.

Published online: 
14 November 2019
Death, Funerals, Burial and Cremation.

This consultation document sets out a range of options for modernising the legislation relating to death, burial, cremation and funerals in New Zealand, including the Burial and Cremation Act 1964, Cremation Regulations 1973 and the Health (Burial) Regulations 1946.

Urupā (Māori burial grounds), registration of mortuaries, burial at sea and international transportation of bodies are out of scope of this review.

The Ministry of Health is seeking feedback on the options from industry and other interested stakeholders, including the general public. This consultation will help inform the development of a modern, fit-for-purpose legislation for death, burial, cremation and funerals.

Given the range and complexity of the issues involved in updating the legislation, this consultation document is split into five sections:

  1. Death certification and auditing
  2. Regulation of the funeral services sector
  3. Burial and cemetery management
  4. Cremation regulations and the medical referee system
  5. New methods of body disposal.

Each section proposes a range of options to modernise the law in relation to the topic. The Ministry has indicated its preferred option in each section. We now want to seek the views of stakeholders to inform further policy development.

How to have your say

The closing date for submissions is 5.00 pm, Saturday 31 October 2020.

This has been extended from the original closing date, and we will continue to review the situation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are two options for submitting feedback around this consultation document.

  • You can complete the online survey on the Ministry’s Health Consultation Hub. This is our preferred way of receiving feedback. You can complete your submission over a number of sessions and save it as you go. You can also share a link with your colleagues if you require their contribution or wish them to review your submission.
    Once you have submitted your completed submission, you will be sent a pdf copy for your records.
  • You can send a separate email submission to [email protected].
    If you decide to send your submission via email, please ensure your email includes a completed submitter profile form.

Your feedback is important because it will help influence the selection and design of final policy proposals. We appreciate you taking the time to make a submission.


We may publish submissions on the Ministry's website, unless you have asked us not to. If you are submitting as an individual, we will automatically remove your personal details and any identifiable information. You can chose to have your personal details withheld if your submission is requested under the Official Information Act.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    14 November 2019
  • ISBN:
    978-1-98-856881-2 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2019. Death, Funerals, Burial and Cremation: a Review of the Burial and Cremation Act 1964 and Related Legislation. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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