Kiwi burials set to change

  • 29/10/2015

In future, farmers could lay to rest in a quiet corner of the family farm, next to a favourite tractor or a beloved family pet cow.

The Law Commission has released its report Death, Burial and Cremation: A new law for contemporary New Zealand, which contains several recommendations for government.

It deals with burial and cremations, cause of death certification, the funeral sector and making burial decisions.

The Commission said people should have more control over what happens to their body after death.

Lead commissioner Wayne Mapp said after the commission consulted people across the country, it realised many people had a strong interest in what happened to them after they die.

"We also found people were surprised that their wishes were not required to be followed after their death, even if they were written in their will," he said.

The report also addresses whether a person's body should be allowed to be buried on the family farm, or whether people should need permission to scatter their loved one's ashes.

Dr Mapp said New Zealand was a very different place now than when the Burial and Cremation Act was brought in 50 years ago.

"That Act fails to cater to our increasingly diverse cultural needs."

About 70 percent of bodies are now cremated, and there is an increasing demand for eco-burials, he said.

Key report recommendations include: