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.

Funerals can go ahead

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

There can be up to 200 people in a single defined space at an indoor venue at any time. The limit includes children under 12, whānau pani and ringawera. There is no limit to how many people can be at an outdoor venue.

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.

Defined spaces at Red

Advice for tangihanga

A marae can have multiple groups of 200 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 200 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)


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

You do not need to wear a face mask if the funeral or tangihanga has exclusive use of a venue.

We encourage you to wear a face mask in shared areas — if there are other activities happening at the venue at the same time.

Workers at funerals and tangihanga must wear face masks — unless they are exempt. Workers hosting or officiating the service do not need to wear a face mask when speaking and if they are able to keep 2 metres physical distance.

When you need to wear a face mask


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

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)

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