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

Submissions on this consultation have now closed.

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

A summary of submissions has now been published for this consultation.

The Ministry of Health is actively progressing this policy review.

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.

Consultation period is closed

Submissions closed at 5.00 pm, Saturday 31 October 2020.

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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