Funerals and tangihanga at Red

Funerals and tangihanga can go ahead at Red, with restrictions.

Support is available

Losing a friend or loved one can be an extremely difficult and challenging time. This may be even more difficult if you have experienced bereavement and grief during COVID-19. At higher settings of the traffic light system, we may need to adapt traditions and adopt new ways of farewelling our loved ones.

If you ever feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional.

If you need to talk, you can call or text 1737. It is free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to talk with a trained counsellor.

With My Vaccine Pass

Funerals, tangihanga, burials and viewing of tūpāpaku (the person who has died) can go ahead at Red.

It is up to the staff and the whānau or family to agree if the funeral or tangihanga is only open to people with My Vaccine Pass or to a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass.

If the funeral or tangihanga is following My Vaccine Pass requirements, only people with My Vaccine Pass are allowed to be there. 

Children under the age of 12 years and 3 months do not need to provide a My Vaccine Pass to enter places with a vaccination requirement.

There can be up to 100 people in a single defined space at the venue at any time, both indoors and outdoors. The limit includes children under 12, whānau pani and ringawera.

This applies to funerals and tangihanga held at:

  • funeral homes
  • marae
  • churches, mosques and other faith-based places of worship
  • hired venues or facilities
  • private homes

You can travel anywhere to attend a funeral, tangihanga, burial or viewing.

You can serve food and drink.

Advice for tangihanga

A marae can have multiple groups of 100 people coming through to attend a tangihanga — as long as the groups are not on the marae at the same time and do not mix with each other.

Marae must make sure they clean all rooms and areas between groups.

Advice for marae at Red

Handling, viewing and storing the tūpāpaku

Funeral directors, faith-based leaders, whānau and friends can handle and go and view the tūpāpaku (the person who has died). Up to 100 people can view the tūpāpaku, if everyone is fully vaccinated.

Providing services for a tūpāpaku

You can provide or help others provide services to a tūpāpaku if you are fully vaccinated. This can include:

  • washing
  • dressing
  • shrouding
  • other preparations for cremation or burial.

Advice for handling, viewing and storing tūpāpaku | health.govt.nz (external link)

Scan in or keep a record of where you go

Organisers of the funeral or tangihanga must record attendees to make sure contact tracing can happen if needed. This includes keeping a record of the date and time of the funeral, tangihanga or viewing, and the names and contact details of everyone attending.

If you are visiting a funeral home, or attending a funeral or tangihanga, you can scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app, or provide your details for contact tracing.

Without My Vaccine Pass

If a venue chooses not to follow vaccine pass requirements, funerals and tangihanga are limited to 25 people based on 1-metre distancing in a single defined space. They can be a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass. The limit includes children under 12, but not staff.

You can serve food and drink.

Talk with your funeral director about specific arrangements—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.

Advice for tangihanga

Marae can choose whether to allow people without a My Vaccine Pass to attend a tangihanga. If they are allowed, tangihanga are limited to 25 people.

Multiple groups of 25 people can attend a tangihanga — as long as the groups are not on the marae at the same time and do not mix with each other.

Marae can also choose to switch between allowing people with and without My Vaccine Pass to attend. Groups cannot be on the marae at the same time. For example, 25 people who do not have My Vaccine Pass could attend a tangihanga in the morning. After cleaning, a group of 100 people with My Vaccine Pass could attend the tangihanga later in the day.

Marae must make sure they clean all rooms and areas between groups.

Advice for marae at Red

Handling, viewing and storing the tūpāpaku

Up to 25 people can view the tūpāpaku (the person who has died). The limit can be a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass. The limit does not include staff who are attending.

Your funeral director will work with you to make sure viewings are carried out in a safe way.

Scan in or keep a record of where you go

Organisers of the funeral or tangihanga must record attendees to make sure contact tracing can happen if needed. This includes keeping a record of the date and time of the funeral, tangihanga or viewing, and the names and contact details of everyone attending.

If you are visiting a funeral home, or attending a funeral or tangihanga, you can scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app, or provide your details for contact tracing.

Providing last rites

Priests, imam and religious celebrants can provide last rites in a hospital, hospice or private residence. If the person they are visiting who is dying is in a health facility, they must follow the:

  • visiting rules of the health facility, and
  • all relevant infection prevention and control procedures.

Face masks

Workers at funerals and tangihanga must wear face masks.

We encourage you to wear a face mask whenever you leave your home.

Wear a face mask

Switching between My Vaccine Pass requirements

Locations and venues can switch between requiring My Vaccine Pass and not requiring it. This could happen in places such as funeral homes, places of worship or marae, where they have different groups entering the venue after each other.

If a location or venue chooses to switch:

  • there must be no mingling of groups
  • rooms should be well ventilated
  • high-touch surfaces, such as door handles, should be cleaned between groups
  • everyone, both staff and visitors, must be told what the My Vaccine Pass requirements are — whether My Vaccine Pass is or is not required.

If your family member had COVID-19

There is currently no known risk from being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with someone who has died of COVID-19.

The World Health Organization advises that friends and whānau may view the body after it has been prepared for burial. You should:

  • not kiss or touch the body
  • wash your hands thoroughly after the viewing
  • physically distance from others of at least 1 metre.

Keep up healthy habits to protect us

Even though we are a highly vaccinated country, COVID-19 can still spread in our communities. Slow the spread of the virus by keeping up healthy habits.

Keep up healthy habits

More information for funeral workers

Funeral directors, religious and faith-based leaders can find more information on health.govt.nz

COVID-19: Funeral directors, religious and faith-based leaders | health.govt.nz (external link)

When you are ready to check your customers' and visitors' My Vaccine Pass with the NZ Pass Verifier app, you can display these posters to let everyone know.

Download My Vaccine Pass posters

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