Who Else is Involved?

Apart from your funeral director, there are other people involved in the funeral process

The Doctor
If a death occurs at a private residence the first thing that you should do is to call an ambulance; there may be a possibility of resuscitation or medical intervention.

If the paramedics confirm “life extinct” then the usual GP for the deceased will need to be contacted.

Usually the doctor who has been involved in the recent care of your loved one can determine the cause of death. If, however, there is any uncertainty or the doctor is unwilling to make a formal declaration then they will involve the Police.

If the GP agrees to sign a cause of death certificate, a funeral director may be contacted immediately. They will be able to guide you through the funeral process.

The Police
If the death is sudden, unexplained or suspicious there will be Police involvement. The Police will arrange for the deceased to be removed from the place of death and taken to the morgue at Christchurch Hospital. You should contact a funeral director as soon as possible so they can guide you through the funeral process.

The Coroner
The Coroner may require a Pathologist to examine the deceased in a procedure called a post-mortem examination (autopsy) to establish the definitive cause of death. Recording the cause of death is a legal requirement in New Zealand.

Births Deaths and Marriages
There are certain legal requirements to fulfil when anyone dies, which CCFS can take care of for you, such as officially registering the death and obtaining the Death Certificate. The Death Certificate is needed to take care of practical matters like terminating the person’s bank account and other financial affairs.

A Lawyer
The next of kin will need to contact the lawyer of the deceased as soon as possible so any specific requests made in their Will can be carried out.

Minister or Celebrant
Depending on the type of funeral service and the venue for the service, usually a Minister or Celebrant will conduct the service. They will contact the next of kin to discuss the service. They will discuss things like tributes and eulogies, music for the service, the order of service, generally your Minister or Celebrant will work in conjunction with your funeral director to offer suggestions and practical advice.

Support Groups
There are many support groups offering advice, counselling or support. It is not unusual to feel disorientated and confused and wonder if life will ever be ‘normal’ again. We understand it can be difficult and sometimes we struggle to adjust. Grief is very unique to each individual, so we need to give ourselves permission to grieve in a way that is appropriate and comfortable for us.

The following is a small selection of support services available:

Work and Income or ACC

Depending on the cause of death you may be entitled to financial assistance from either Work and Income or ACC, whether it be a one off payment or ongoing financial support.

As each case is different, please visit www.workandincome.govt.nz or www.acc.co.nz for more information.