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COVID-19 Information

Updated 28 February 2021

As from 6:00am Sunday 28 February Auckland has moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2 for 7 days.

AUCKLAND - Funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 3 

Funerals, tangihanga and burials are allowed at Alert Level 3, but are limited to 10 people or under. The 10 person limit includes kaikaranga, kaikōrero, members of the clergy or staff who are attending.

Formal tangihanga involving large gatherings cannot take place at Alert Level 3.

Up to 10 people in the same bubble may go to view the tūpapaku, the person who has died, by appointment with the funeral director. Other whānau can view the body by appointment, but only in groups of up to 10 from the same bubble.

Talk with your funeral director about specific arrangements, including how to maintain physical distance. They can guide you on the best options for your situation, which may include livestreaming or video so others can take part in the service remotely.

We recommend no food or drink being served and physical distancing should be maintained between people.

If you're attending a funeral or tangihanga we recommend still keeping 2 metres apart from people not in your bubble. You’re strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.

At Alert Level 3 you can visit a cemetery in your region, if you can do so safely while maintaining a physical distance from people not in your bubble.

The general guidance for avoiding physical contact, including harirū, hongi, kissing, and hugging, remain in place.

Bereaved families and whānau from all cultures and backgrounds will find this time challenging. This makes it even more important that we show each other kindness and caring, manaakitanga and aroha.

Travel for funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3 there are strict restrictions in place for travel between regions. This is necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

If you need to travel into or out of a region at Alert Level 3 for a funeral or tangihanga you will need to apply for an exemption.

Regional travel

REST OF THE COUNTRY - Funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 2 

At Alert Level 2, up to 100 people can attend a funeral, tangihanga, kawe/hari mate or unveiling ceremony/hura kōhatu.

Social gathering rules apply to funerals and tangihanga held at:

  • funeral homes
  • churches, mosques and other faith-based institutions
  • hired venues or facilities
  • private dwellings.

Organisers do not need to register with the Ministry of Health to hold a funeral or tangihanga.

The organiser legally must ensure that contact tracing requirements are met.

We recommend avoiding physical contact such as harirū, hongi, kissing, and hugging except if you:

  • live with them
  • are whānau
  • close friends.

More information about gatherings and events

Ministry of Health guidance on deaths, funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 2(external link)

Please contact your local Funeral Director who will be able to assist you with the planning and preparation of a funeral or tangihanga. 


Useful COVID-19 Grief Resources 

COVID-19 Grief Resource - When no funeral, tangi or farewell gatherings can take place
Funeral Directors Association NZ

Getting through Together
Mental Health Foundation NZ

There are many organisations that offer help and support for grief and trauma ranging from resources, counselling and support groups. Read more here