When a friend or family member dies you will be overwhelmed with thinking about all the things that need to be done.  That's where we can help, so please call us at anytime on 07 543 4780 and we will will advise you on what needs to be done next. We are available 24 hours.

Here are some frequently asked questions that may help you immediately:

Where did the death occur?

When death occurs at a hospital, hospice or rest-home, the nursing staff will arrange for a doctor to visit and certify death.  Once the certification has happened, then we can start making plans for your loved one.  

If the death has occurred at home, you will need to call a doctor to certify death. If you have any difficulties, please phone us on 07 827 7649 and we will arrange this for you. 

What does a Coroner do, and do I need to involve one?

The Coroner is a legal officer appointed under the Coroners Act who has the duty to establish the cause of death in certain circumstances. The Coroner and the police may become involved when:

  • A doctor is unavailable or unable to establish the cause of death
  • There is a sudden unexpected death
  • Death occurs from other than natural causes
  • There is an accidental death
  • There has been no recent consultation with a medical practitioner.

In these cases it is important that the deceased is not moved or disturbed in any way without the permission of the Coroner.

Please phone us as soon as you wish for any assistance in this regard, and remember that it is the family’s right to choose their own funeral director once the Coroner’s duties are completed. You are not obliged to use the funeral services of the funeral firm engaged by the police to take the deceased to the hospital.

Bereavement Support

A referral to a grief counsellor is part of our service, if required. A grief counsellor can provide support and assistance after the funeral service.

Such arrangements, in a time of such emotion, require the compassion and discipline of a professional funeral director. At Cambridge Funerals, we are proud to offer such a service.

Click here to learn more about the next step: planning the funeral and meeting the funeral director.

If the family prefers, the deceased need not be taken away immediately. Some find it therapeutic to keep their loved one at home until the family has gathered. However, delays in taking the deceased to a funeral home will also delay later presentation for viewing by family and friends. The funeral director will discuss timings with the family.

When someone dies in hospital

Staff will usually allow the patient to remain in the bed until the family have gathered. Where the hospital amenities are under pressure, the deceased may be taken to the hospital mortuary. Contact the funeral director as soon as possible after the loved one has died, so that arrangements can be made for the deceased to be taken into the funeral director’s care.

When someone dies unexpectedly

The doctor may not be in a position to certify the cause of death. The Police become involved as agents for the coroner, who may ask for a post mortem (autopsy) to be carried out to ascertain the cause of death. Contact the funeral director as early as possible after hearing about the death. The funeral director is the best person to liaise with the coroner’s office and with the family regarding appropriate arrangements for the care of the deceased.

Official Paperwork

Just as it is a legal requirement to register births and marriages, it is also a legal requirement to register a death. The funeral director will ask the family for details that are required by the Department of Internal Affairs in Wellington, where records are kept. The funeral director has a duty to ensure the details are accurate and that they are forwarded to the Department in a timely fashion. Some time after the funeral, the funeral director will deliver the official death certificate to the family.

The records gathered by the Department of Internal Affairs are useful for those who are interested in genealogy, as well as for the government when assembling statistics for planning purposes.