Direct cremations on the rise nationwide

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Saving money is just one factor that has seen a growing trend for more people to chose direct cremation as opposed to burials.

Funerals Direct say in the last year they have seen a 60 percent increase nationwide of direct cremations, including Māori who are opting to be cremated.

"When someone passes away the direct cremation basically means that where they passed away from we just uplift the body and take them straight to the cremator," says Noel Morris of Simplicity Bereavement Services.

"Some iwi we have practice cremation and what we're finding now is that a lot of our whānau are going to the marae and still following all the cultural processes.  But rather than be buried they're going on to the cremtoriums because they're not identifying with home as much as they used to," says Lance Murray of Funerals Direct.

Management at the Hastings District Council Cemetery say it's nearing capacity and they're seeing around 770 cremations a year with a small but gradual increase in Māori cremations. 

The service is kinder on the pocket and is a factor that appeals to many families.

"The average cost for a funeral now is between $5500-$8000 up to $12000, even more in some cases.  When you're dealing with a direct cremation up in Auckland you can get some funeral homes charging between $1500 and $2500 so there's a big difference in the range of pricing," says Murray.

The cremation process can take over two hours to complete before the deceased is ready to be taken to their final resting place.