An increased interest in harakeke funeral options has seen Kahungunu-based Simplicity Bereavement Services explore new ways to meet those demands by offering a unique hand-made harakeke casket.
"It's not popular but there has been an increase of inquiries into harakeke itself and why? It's simply because our people want to inject into current funeral practices their culture," says Noel Morris, co-owner of Simplicity Bereavement Services.
With an increased interest in a harakeke option, they want to be able to keep the price point as low as possible so it can be accessible for all whānau.
"There's a resurgence in Māori culture at the moment within our industry, people want carved caskets, people want weaved flowers, people want to be able to have karakia and waiata with the tūpāpāku before they take them home so we want to be able to give them that option."
Fully biodegradable and chemical free, it is an eco-friendly option and can be lined with timber framing if needed.
"That's one of the things that are our whānau are going back to how things used to be and they want to be able to provide that for everybody."
The funeral home is currently looking for local weavers in the Kahungunu area that are able to meet the demand for this type of funeral offering.