The questions I get asked the most about death and funerals, are about cremation. We’ve been asked things like; do you take the body out? I hear you take the handles off, a cousin told me you cremate lots of people at once.
The answers to those questions are a resounding NO.
Historically, burial has been the most common choice for New Zealanders, however in recent times we have seen many people and families choosing cremation. More than 30,000 people die each year in New Zealand and 70 percent of them choose cremation. 
Often the deceased has made their wishes known, but if not then it is up to the family to choose. In New Zealand there are four options available: burial, burial at sea, cremation, and donating a body to medical science. Some people have very strong feelings one way or the other when it comes to burial or cremation, but for others personal beliefs, religion, and other factors can mean it is a difficult choice.
Choosing between cremation or burial is a very personal decision and doing your research to understand what’s involved will help you make a decision that makes you comfortable. Whatever your choice, Osbornes Funeral Directors will be able to answer any questions you may have and take care of the arrangements for you.
What is the cremation process in Rotorua?
Once the funeral director has obtained the correct paperwork from the Doctor and the family, a medical referee will check the Death and Cremation certificates for compliance with the appropriate Acts and Regulations and, if everything is in order, signs an authorization certificate (“Permission to Cremate”).
The process of cremation involves placing the body within the casket into a cremator – a large metal box with room for only one casket. The cremation process takes approximately two to four hours.
While it’s okay to place mementos with the deceased, they must be combustible. Metal, rubber, glass and plastic unfortunately cannot be cremated.
The ashes are removed from the cremator and placed in a sealed container, about 26cm long and 15cm deep. You can have peace of mind that we will collect the cremated ashes returning them to our care. They are then available for families to collect, usually within 48 hours.
There is a common misconception that those who opt for a cremation forego a funeral service. However, those intending to be cremated can still have a traditional funeral service with the casket present and a cremation to follow, alternatively cremation can take place before and ashes can be present at the memorial service.
You can’t avoid burial and cremation costs, but cremation costs are typically less than burial costs as you will not incur burial plot fees, memorial markers and the process of interring the body. A body must be in a coffin when cremated and there are fees associated with cremation. However, just as with burials, additional options can increase the total cost of a cremation.
Cremation provides greater flexibility when choosing a final resting place because there is no restriction to specific places of burial. Ashes can be buried in a cemetery or special memorial area, or they can be scattered somewhere the family or deceased thought appropriate. It is important to note that you are not able to scatter ashes just anywhere, cultural and practical factors need to be considered for example the dispersal of ashes in traditional food gathering sites, rivers, lakes and fishing grounds is culturally inappropriate.
Some people split the ashes between different places, so they don’t necessarily have to visit a cemetery to feel close to a loved one. A memorial or plaque is often chosen to provide the focal point for the family.
People are also increasingly concerned with how environmentally friendly their funeral will be and a cremation is generally considered to have less environmental impact than a burial.
Whatever your choice is, we will respect your wishes. If an urn is desired, we can organise this and have a variety of high-quality urns to choose from.