Cost of a funeral
Chatting about funerals and money may not be your ideal conversation, but managing your expenses and ensuring your loved ones are financially secure when it comes to immediate costs if you pass away is one way to gain peace of mind.
The average cost of a funeral in New Zealand is $8,000–$10,000¹, but only 5% of New Zealanders have pre-planned their funerals². So who will be left with the bill?
Whether you choose to have a cremation or burial, a simple service or traditional ritual, the associated costs may be more than you expect.
The average funeral in New Zealand costs $8,000–$10,000¹, but there’s only 5% of New Zealanders that have pre-planned their funerals².
Factors that influence funeral prices
Depending on your personal style and your family’s needs, these are the most common factors that will contribute to how much a burial or funeral will cost:
- religious, ceremonial or family requirements
- being buried or cremated
- the cost of a burial plot if being buried; including digging, casket, headstone, transportation, and council fees
- the cost of an urn, flowers, and funeral director
- where and when the funeral or memorial service is held
- if food and drinks will be provided for mourners after the ceremony
- other costs such as newspaper notices and death certificates.
Estimated costs from online quotes and websites suggest burial fees in New Zealand jump significantly for funerals held on a public holiday ($1,033) as opposed to a weekend ($362).³
Funeral expenses breakdown
When it comes to organising a final farewell, there may be more considerations for your family at the time of planning than you first thought. Creating a funeral that honours someone’s life may present the following expenses.
|Item||Average cost for Burial⁴||Average cost for Cremation⁴|
|Cemetery and grave fees||$1,350||N/A|
|Removal of body||$1,132||$1,043|
|Funeral car hire||$302||$314|
|Urn or other location for ashes||N/A||$88|
These are averages and the total costs associated with a funeral will depend on the type of funeral you wish to have.
Calculate the average cost of a funeral or tangi in your area – it’s fast, free, and based on in-depth research by New Zealand Seniors
Ways to pay for your funeral
Funeral insurance pays your family an immediate lump sum payout to help cover your final expenses regardless of what you’ve paid towards your premiums. This can be used to cover the costs for your funeral or using the money to take care of financial affairs you may have left behind, such as credit card debt or bills. Read more about funeral insurance.
Seniors Funeral Insurance pays a lump sum from $3,000 up to $30,000⁵ depending on how much cover you choose, paying the claim usually within one business day from the time completed documentation is received.
- Immediate lump sum payout to loved ones.⁶
- Payout of total premiums paid or full benefit amount, whichever is greater.
- Money can be used however it’s needed.
Pre-paid funeral plans
Pre-paid funeral plans involve planning and paying for your funeral upfront with a local funeral director before you pass away. You’ll have to set in stone suppliers and arrangements for your funeral service at the time of payment.
- Planning and paying for your funeral upfront.
- Suppliers and details of your funeral service locked in.
- Fixed costs at current funeral prices.
You can choose to save money in a separate savings account to pay for your funeral expenses. This means your loved ones will only have access to whatever you’ve managed to accumulate in that time, and may only be able to access your bank account after a certain period of time.
- You have direct control over the funds and the amount you save.
- The funds can be redirected more easily to other costs that come up, but this could be at the cost of having dedicated funds available when the time comes.
KiwiSaver – withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver early if you need to pay funeral costs when a dependant family member dies.
Work and Income, Accident Compensation Corporation, or the Veterans' Association – receive a grant to pay for a funeral if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Considering funeral insurance?
Who pays for your funeral costs
When planning for your funeral, it’s important to consider who would be paying for all the final expenses. Funeral costs, from casket and flowers to director and burial fees, can pose a significant financial burden to your loved ones at an already difficult time. With these costs averaging a total of $8,000–10,000¹, it’s worth thinking about who would be left to pay the bill.
Funeral Insurance can help cover your funeral and other final expenses, giving you and your family peace of mind.
How can New Zealand Seniors help?
Seniors Funeral Insurance pays a lump sum to your family (up to $30,000) upon your death for them to spend as they require.
Benefits of Seniors Funeral Insurance
Choose cover that suits you from $3,000 up to $30,000.⁵
Get back 10% of premiums you’ve paid in the first 12 months of your policy.
Guaranteed cover for New Zealand Residents aged 18–75.
No medical exams or blood test required.
Triple your benefit amount if your death is the result of an accident (up to $90,000).
Claims usually paid within 1 business day.⁶
30 day money back guarantee.
Premiums reduce by 5% every five years you hold your policy.
- Funerals & registration of death – Citizens Advice Bureau NZ
- Dealing with death in a Kiwi way – stuff.co.nz
- Funeral & Burial Costs in New Zealand – Lifecovered.nz
- Unpublished data collected by CoreData for the purposes of the New Zealand Seniors Cost of Death survey June 2019. Average figures are of the amounts survey participants advised they either paid or are aware were paid for both European and Maori funerals. Prices are a representation only.
- Cover for Accidental Death only in the first 12 months.
- Usually within one business day from the time completed documentation is received.
How can we help?
To find out more about New Zealand Seniors,
speak to one of our friendly insurance specialists now