What to do When someone dies?

When someone you love passes away, our compassionate and experienced team will guide you through the entire process, taking care of all the details and enabling you to say goodbye in a way that is meaningful to you.

What happens first

Please call us any time, day or night and we will point you in the right direction - Papakura (09) 298 2957 or  Pukekohe (09) 238 2221.

Firstly, a Medical Professional must Certify the Death. The way this happens will depend on where and how the death occurs…

Resthomes and Hospitals. The staff will arrange the doctor and all necessary paperwork for you.

At Home. You must call the Doctor in the first instance and they should come to view the deceased, certify the death and complete the relevant paperwork.

For a Sudden (unexpected) Death. Call 111. An Ambulance Officer will liase with police and they will determine if it is a natural death or if the case needs to be referred to the Coroner.

What does the Coroner do?
The Coroner is a government official who is empowered to conduct or order an inquest into the manner, or cause, of death, If there is a sudden, unexpected or accidental death, or a doctor is unable to establish the cause of death, the Coroner may become involved.

Contacting the Funeral Director.
Once the doctor has been, or the deceased is with the coroner, call us on 09 298 2957 at any time and we will arrange to bring your loved one into our care. From this point we will be in constant communication with you, giving you updates and guidance every step of the way. When you are ready, we will meet with you to begin arranging the funeral.

Burial or Cremation

One of the first questions you will be asked is whether you are planning on burial or cremation. This is because in case of cremation, the doctor will need to produce extra paperwork. Whatever you decide, we will make all the necessary arrangements including permits, documentation and bookings.

Burial or Cremation?
If your loved one has made their wishes known, then this can be an easier decision to make. For burials, there are additional costs including the purchase and preparation of a plot, then there is usually the purchase of a plaque or headstone.

When someone is cremated, their ashes could be kept in an urn, interred into a cemetery, or scattered in a place that feels appropriate, such as a garden, or at sea for example.

Can I bury my loved one in an existing plot?
Yes. We can help to find out if there is capacity to add to an existing plot and complete all the necessary paperwork

Pink Flower Isolated


The function of embalming is to ensure the sanitisation and preservation of your loved one during the funeral period, it can also ensure their natural appearance should you wish to view them.

Embalming is optional but if the funeral is delayed for any reason, then embalming is recommended. If you wish to bring your loved one home, then for safety and hygiene reasons, embalming is necessary. Your Funeral Director can help you make the choice that is right for you.

Embalming is a skilled process and should only be performed by trained practitioners. Our onsite embalmer is an experienced, fully qualified, and practicing member of the NZ Embalmers Association.

Meeting with the Funeral Director

Once we have taken your loved one into our care, we will arrange a meeting with you. This could be at the Funeral Home or in your own home. Wherever you feel most comfortable.

It is our aim to enable you to have the exactly the kind of farewell you want for your loved one. There may seem like a lot of decisions to make and a lot to do, but we will give you all the help and guidance you need and take care of all of the details.

Items to bring when meeting the Funeral Director

  • Clothing. You can select clothing that has special significance for your loved one, or something they loved to wear - shoes and accessories are optional.
  • Any personal items you would like placed in the casket
  • A recent photo of your loved one (so that we can ensure their hair and makeup is just as it should be)
  • Photos for service sheet and photo presentation (if you have these ready)
  • Draft of the funeral notice
  • Details for the death certificate


In the lead up to the funeral, you may wish to spend some time with your loved one. We have a number of private and comfortable viewing rooms onsite that you are welcome to use. Or you may choose to have your loved one at home for a few days. It is our company policy however, that for hygiene and safety reasons, anyone going home must be embalmed.

Bereavement Support

We are very proud to provide a complementary grief support service to all our families and will be in touch with you regarding this shortly after the funeral. However, if you need help, guidance or support for yourself or for someone else at any time, please let us know. We are always happy to help.

Fountains Funerals are always available to chat as we know this can be an overwhelming time.

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