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What happens when a loved one dies?

Depending on how or where they died, there are a few processes that will need to be followed. If you are unsure at any time, please contact, your funeral director to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

We are here to help

Whenua Tapu gives you the option of burial or cremation. Porirua and Pāuatahanui cemeteries are available for second internments and ashes internments, only into existing plots.

Hiring our Chapel

You can hire the Whenua Tapu Crematorium Chapel for a cremation, burial or memorial service. The facility has a kitchenette for catering and refreshments, as well as service recording and livestreaming. You can find out more about the chapel and crematorium here.

There is a hire fee for the chapel and the services provided, please see our fees here.

To make a booking, either your funeral director can arrange it, or you can phone us on 04 237 5089. Tell us what type of service you want and the start/end times, making sure you allow enough time for setting up and after the service.

Fees and forms

If you have general enquiries about our cemeteries, or want to organise a visit to choose a plot, please phone the Council contact centre on (04) 237 5089 or email [email protected] (we will reply during business hours). Our team can also help with advice about funeral arrangements.

Click here to find all the fees and forms

Useful information

For advice these pages provide some useful information:

For burial and cremation bookings, phone us on 04 237 5089. A funeral director will generally make these arrangements for you.

When a family or friend notifies us about a death, we will usually ask for the following information; The name, phone number and contact details of the person phoning us, or the person who will be our main contact throughout the funeral process. We will also ask about the deceased, for example their name, where they are, and their address.

At the funeral arrangement, we will also ask for information so that we are able to register and order a death certificate. If families can provide details about the deceased's parents and and any of the deceased's marriage details this will be helpful, but this is not all needed at the arrangement.

Whenua Tapu Walk and Talk: Cemetery Week 2023

How to arrange an ashes burial

Once you are ready to arrange an ashes burial, you will first need to purchase an ashes plot at Whenua Tapu.

You can find a list of our ashes areas here. If you intend to bury your loved ones' ashes in an existing family plot, please let us know and we can look up the details for that plot.

Once you have confirmed the plot for the burial, we will require an Application for ashes burial form to be filled out and returned to us. We will then check and approve this form and book in the day and time for the ashes burial. The ashes interment fee will need to be paid prior to the interment occurring. You can also hire our chapel facility for a memorial service prior to the burial taking place on the day.

If you need any help with this process, please get in touch with our helpful team.

Arranging a cremation

When you want to arrange a cremation, there are certain legal requirements for doing so. Your funeral director can guide you through this process and the associated paperwork. We will require all forms to be completed prior to the cremation occurring. If you are arranging the cremation yourself, you will need to liaise about this with us and pay all fees prior to the cremation occurring.

If you want to arrange a cremation without a funeral director, please get in touch with us to discuss this.

You will need to consider certain aspects, like the transportation of the deceased, the legal paperwork and the purchase of a casket.

There are certain items that are prohibited in or on a casket for cremation. This is for safety purposes and to prevent damage to our cremator. Please see the list here.

If you need any help with this process, please get in touch with our helpful team.

Burial processes

Casket burials are an important part of many peoples' culture and traditions and we have areas available for this at Whenua Tapu. Your funeral director will typically guide you through this process and tell you what is required for the burial to take place.

If you wish to arrange a burial without a funeral director, there will paperwork and requirements for you to meet.

Our team can assist you to arrange this type of burial, however you will need to consider certain aspects like the transportation of the deceased, the legal paperwork, and the purchase of a casket.

After a burial has taken place, please follow our guidelines for decorations and memorabilia here. The guidelines were written with consideration for those buried here and also the environmental impact. If the guidelines are not followed, it can make it hard for our team to continue to maintain our cemeteries in the respectful way that we do

Baby / Childrens areas

Losing a child can be a hard time for any family. We have created a special place for families to lay their children to rest either as a burial or an ashes burial. Koreke is our area for this, it has been carefully designed and thoughtfully constructed to provide a peaceful place of solitude for our families as they grieve the loss of their child. The area is planted with trees and gardens to compliment its design.

Veterans' services

Whenua Tapu has a dedicated veterans' services section for the burial of caskets or ashes. These areas are provided in partnership with Veterans' Affairs and the plots are provided free of charge.

There are requirements to qualify for a free services plot. Your funeral director should be able to guide you through this process. Veterans' Affairs determine the qualifying service of our service personnel you can find more info here [Veteran's Affairs website]

Muslim burial area

Our Muslim community have specific requirements for burial according to their customs and beliefs and Whenua Tapu provides an area specifically for this. For more information, please get in touch with us, or you can contact your local Muslim community to discuss this.