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 approximately $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. 

Did you know?

The average funeral in New Zealand costs approximately $10,000¹, but there’s only 5% of New Zealanders that have pre-planned their funerals².

What factors 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.

Did you know?

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
Headstone $1,719 N/A
Coffin/casket $2,532 N/A
Cemetery and grave fees $1,350 N/A
Burial plot $808 N/A
Removal of body $1,132 $1,043
Funeral car hire $302 $314
Clergy fees $142 $706
Flowers $280 $587
Catering $1,342 $1,038
Cremation fee N/A $1,630
Urn or other location for ashes N/A $88
TOTAL $9,607 $5,406

These are averages and the total costs associated with a funeral will depend on the type of funeral you wish to have.

Request a FREE information pack

Everything you need to know about funeral insurance

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

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
  • 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.

Personal Savings 

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 approximately 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 choosing Seniors Funeral Insurance

Choose a level of cover that suits you

Seniors Funeral Insurance pays a lump sum to your family from $3,000 up to $30,000 upon your death.

Guaranteed acceptance

If you’re a New Zealand resident aged 18 to 79, you’re guaranteed acceptance. No medical screening, complicated paperwork or blood tests required.

Quick payout to your family

Claims are usually paid within 1 business day of all completed documentation being received, so you can be sure your family has the financial help they need with little fuss.

Bonus Cover at age 85

Once you turn 85, you’ll receive an extra 25% Bonus Cover on top of your cover amount, so you can enjoy even more peace of mind for the years ahead.

No more premiums after your 85th birthday

From age 85, we’ll stop charging you for your cover so there will be no further premiums to pay.

Cover for terminal illness

Get 100% of your benefit paid if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, helping you plan your final wishes without financial worries.5

Level premiums with no annual increase

With Seniors Funeral Insurance, your premiums won’t go up every year, making it easier to budget for the years ahead.6

Triple benefit for accidental death

From the day your policy starts, your loved ones will receive triple your cover amount if your death is the result of an accident.

More control over your policy

Choose a payment frequency that works for you and your budget and list up to 5 different beneficiaries.

Early Cash Out Option

Once you turn 85, you can choose to end your policy and receive 75% of your cover amount paid to you.7

Guaranteed payment at age 100

When you reach 100 years of age, we’ll end your policy and pay you 125% of your cover amount to spend however you wish.

How to get covered

  1. 1 Request a quote

    Just answer a few basic questions about yourself to get started. We’ll get you a quote in minutes.

  2. 2 Choose your cover

    Tailor your policy and choose the level of cover you need.

  3. 3 Get covered

    Enjoy life knowing the people who matter most to you are in safe hands.

Need more help deciding?

Request a FREE information pack

Everything you need to know about funeral insurance

Customers rate us

4.6/5 from 1,557 reviews

Powered by

  1. Funerals & registration of death – Citizens Advice Bureau NZ 
  2. Dealing with death in a Kiwi way –
  3. Funeral & Burial Costs in New Zealand –
  4. 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.
  5. Cover is for accidental serious injury and accidental death only in the first 12 months. Terminal illness with diagnosis of 12 months or less to live.
  6. There’s no refund of premiums after the cooling off period. The total amount of premiums payable over the life of the policy has the potential to exceed the cover amount.
  7. If you choose the Early Cash Out Option, you’ll no longer be eligible to claim as this option will cancel your policy.

How can we help?

To find out more about New Zealand Seniors,
speak to one of our friendly insurance specialists now