How Much Does a Funeral Cost in New Zealand

How Much Does a Funeral Cost in New Zealand?

Funerals can be extremely difficult ordeals not only in the emotional sense but also in the financial sense.  The fact that we never truly know when our time will come makes it particularly difficult to be financially prepared for a funeral.

With that said, however, there are certain ways to manage your finances in order to mitigate the financial weight of a funeral service.  Using this guide, we’ll be covering the basic costs associated with Kiwi funerals.

Aside from this, we’ll also provide you with references pertaining to funeral services, financing solutions, and the like.

Breaking Down Funeral Costs

Breaking Down Funeral Costs

Embalming Costs/Preparations

Traditional funeral arrangements will most often include funeral home services, funeral directors, and the purchase and preparation of a burial plot and coffin.  

These costs can add up rather quickly and are particularly troublesome since they must be paid upfront.

To give you a basic idea, the cost of a coffin alone can be as high as $5,000 depending on the specific model.  Along with this, the cost of a burial plot also varies largely with some basic plots starting at $500 and reaching as high as $1,900 for premium burial locations.

To reduce these particularly high funeral costs, many Kiwis have started to explore cremation as an alternative to burial.  This eliminates the need for a burial plot and casket which at the very least, saves $1000.

Add onto this the cost of a headstone and cemetery fees and it’s possible to save another $2,000 dollars.  The money saved on caskets and burial fees can instead be put towards the cremation fee, which is significantly more affordable at $700 to $1,630.

Funeral Service

With regard to the actual funeral procession, the biggest cost contributors are the funeral car and clergy fee. The cost of hiring a funeral car is usually between $300 and $400 depending on how far the burial site is and whether or not the deceased is to be cremated.

For religious funerals held in the presence of a priest or clergyman, the church does not directly charge a fee.  Instead, it is commonly accepted that an honorarium between $150 and $700 is to be given upon the conclusion of the burial ceremony.

Wake/Post-Burial Ceremony

One of the final costs associated with funerals is that of the wake or post-funeral ceremony.  After the burial or cremation, it is common practice for friends and family to gather and dine together while sharing fond memories and shaking off the grief that burdens them.

Wakes are usually catered events complete with funeral decorations and floral arrangements according to the deceased or bereaved family’s wishes.  These events can also be held in a private residence or a public space such as a park or memorial area.

Altogether, the cost of a wake will usually be between $1,500 and $3,000.  This can change depending on the number of people attending and the possible fees associated with renting a public venue.

To cover a large portion of the above costs and lighten the financial weight of a funeral, it is highly recommended that one prepare a life or funeral insurance policy.  Both of these policies can pay a lump sum of money at the time of the policy holder’s death.

In turn, this money can be used to shoulder the cost of a burial, cremation, wake, or any other funeral-related service.  If you are ever faced with the task of preparing for a funeral, we certainly hope this guide will be of some use to you.