Welcome to the McKinnon Funeral Group

A funeral service for the most part, is an unplanned life event and takes place at a time when we are least equipped ​to make very important decisions. It is so important that it is done well and is a fitting tribute to the person who has passed, creates good memories and aids our grieving process.

​​The McKinnon Funeral Group want you ​to have positive memories of the funeral process.

How do we do this?
We listen to your needs. Guide you with our experience. Give you an accurate indication of costs and take care of all the details large and small to ensure your loved one’s funeral service is personal, ​meaningful and everything you want it to be.

Why Funerals Matter?

Why have a funeral service? What is the purpose of a funeral service?
Ceremony is an important part of our lives. Through the act of ceremony we mark important rites of passage, such a coming of age, moving home, anniversaries, marriages, births and death. No matter what nationality or faith, we all have our own ceremonies, rites and rituals that we perform at the time of a death.
A funeral service is a ceremony in which we say goodbye to someone who has died, we acknowledge, remember and celebrate their life. The process of organising and taking part in a funeral service, aids the grieving process by giving a focus to the loss of someone special and offers support to family and friends at a time when they are most vulnerable. ​By gathering together and sharing of stories, playing significant music; reading meaningful verses, singing, looking at photos and videos and reminiscing about our time together when they were alive, we begin the process of saying goodbye and accepting their death.

How Can We Help You Today

There are many decisions to be made in a short time frame, under difficult circumstances. Our funeral directors will guide you through the process and are there to implement your wishes and assist you through the process of arranging a memorable funeral.

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

PREPLANNING

Whether you need to plan for now or are just thinking about the future, we can meet with you at our place or yours and provide you with all of the important information with regards to planning a funeral. We offer you a free no obligation estimate of cost and record your wishes which will be kept on file for future reference. You can change your plan at any time. To make a start, call us anytime for a chat.

PREPAYMENT

As well as preplanning, you might consider paying towards your funeral costs. This may help ease the financial burden for your family later.
Instead of prepaying into funeral insurance policies ​we recommend you drip feed funds into the trust held and managed by the Funeral Directors Association of NZ.  You can stop paying at anytime and not lose your funds unlike some funeral plans and you don’t pay more into the fund than you can redeem at the time of uplifting the funds.
Any monies prepaid are held in trust for you or your nominee by FDANZ or the Public Trust Funeral Trust.

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

What Happens Now? ​What you need to know when someone has died.
No matter what the circumstances, you can contact us at anytime and engage us to take care of the deceased person and the funeral arrangements, on your behalf.
How you proceed is directly related to where someone has died and the circumstances of their death.
Where have they died?
Hospital, Rest Home, Hospice.
At home
Was the death unexpected/unexplained death?
Should the death occur suddenly, phone the ambulance service in the first instance.

Should you be unsure at any time on how to proceed once you have called emergency services, you can call us for advice and help on what to do next – 03 358 8807 day and night.

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

Burial or Cremation

There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing between either being buried or cremated. It is a matter of personal preference. For some cultural or religious beliefs determined their choice. If you are trying to make a choice between burial or cremation, we can assist you by giving you good information to enlighten you to what is involved, helping you to decide or reinforce the decision you have already made. From a legal point of view both options require a different course of action. ​
Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

Cost of a funeral
​To accurately calculate the cost of a funeral, requires a multitude of decisions be made in regard to the many products and services that encompass a funeral service. These include caring for the deceased, organising and conducting the funeral service and facilitating the final resting place of the remains;  i.e. cemetery plot and fees, cremation, ashes interment/scattering, plaques and headstones, whichever are applicable.
There is not a one size fits all. Even with package deals, people often want to delete or upgrade items.

How can we help you?
We offer you a no obligation discussion of all the options available and provide you with a written estimate. We keep you up to date with any changes should you choose other options throughout the process. Our aim is to have no surprises when the account arrives in your mailbox.

Payment terms
We operate our accounts payable under normal terms of business. Once we receive the death certificate, we will issue the account to the family or solicitor two weeks after the funeral, with payment due between 4 – 5 weeks post date of death. Should your circumstances limit your ability to adhere to these terms of payment, we are always open to discuss them with you at the time of engagement. You may be entitled to grants, depending on the circumstances of the death, your income and relationship to the deceased.
See Funeral Grants below

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

​Choosing a casket or urn is another decision in the funeral arrangement process and can be a thoughtful reflection of a life lived and valued.
We offer a wide range of caskets and urns to suit your requirements and work within your budget.

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

Viewing the body – spending time together

Spending time with the person who has died affords you the opportunity to have private and valuable time together before the service. Those who take this time, feel that it aids their grieving process and adds to their memories in a positive way while beginning the process of accepting the reality of their death.
Viewing is of course a very personal choice, with each family member making a decision that it right for them.

Gifts of love such as cards, letters, photos, small gifts and flowers can be left in the casket with your loved one. There are a few restrictions upon what can be placed in a casket for cremation; we are happy to advise you on this.

Your loved one will lie in a casket of choice, dressed in the clothes that you have provided, looking their best.
Most times they will look like themselves and sometimes they will not look quite so much like they did.
This depends upon factors around the mode and cause of death. There are other factors that can influence how they will present, but we do everything we can to present them at their best at all times.
For some who have not looked good at their time of death, after embalming and preparation, they can look so much better, which is a great relief and source of joy at a time when sadness prevails.

Taking the casket home enables you to spend more quality time together before the service and again is a personal choice.

Should children be encouraged to view a dead person?

This is a decision for the parents to make. In our experience children are far better at dealing with death than we give them credit for and they like to bring gifts, drawings and significant items to to place in or on the casket, thus expressing their own love and loss.

A viewing can be a time to write messages of love on the casket. Some caskets are able to be written on by family and friends. See Caskets and Urns

​Should you choose to view, then some form of embalming treatment will be necessary for hygienic preservation and presentation of the body and thus maintain the dignity of the deceased. ​See Embalming, Clothing and Dressing.

We have private and comfortable viewing facilities where you can spend time together, either individually or as a family.

We will ask you at the time of arranging the service if you wish to spend time together.

If you have any questions in regard to viewing please don’t hesitate to ask us.

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

Embalming and Preparation: 
People mixed feelings about embalming and aren’t sure about its relevance in modern society. Without it, nature will soon take its course. Embalming serves three main purposes:
1. Sanitation: The body is cleaned and made safe for handling and viewing.
2. Preservation: Embalming allows more people to grieve and say goodbye. The body can be taken to your home, chapel, or a marae with no fear of odour or deterioration. (Please note that in some situations this may not be appropriate and consultation with family on individual situations is always our first  step.)
3. Presentation: If you would prefer a wake or open casket funeral, embalming can in most cases, restore some of your loved one’s natural appearance which can bring comfort and a sense of relief to mourners. This is best done in consultation with the Funeral Director.
• Some cultures and religions have specific requests around preparing a body for burial and cremation and we will do our best to balance family desires and cultural practices with Health and Safety law. Your best course of action is to always ask your Funeral Director as early as possible during the preparation process. We are here to help you and accommodate your wishes as best we can.
• The Funeral Director will liaise with the Embalmer in relation to the date of the funeral, ​the condition of the body  ​and other circumstances as to whether embalming is required. ​
• If it is a direct cremation then no embalming may be necessary.
Clothing and Dressing:
Being dressed in our own clothes is a vital part of who we are. We wear clothing to preserve our dignity, to keep us warm and to look and feel nice.
For our dead, we provide their clothing for their dignity, to honour who they are and for presentation should we wish to spend time with them before the service.
What to provide:
A full set of clothing including undergarments, plus any accessories i.e hats, jewellery, cosmetics and items of significance to them or the family.

We normally dress the person and place them in the casket however in accordance with cultural considerations or personal requests, the family may decide to assist in the process.

​Please feel free to contact us or your local funeral directgor to discuss any questions you have in regard to the embalming and body preparation process.

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

​Repatriation – Worldwide or within New Zealand

Repatriation is returning home of the body, remains or ashes of someone who has died outside of their country or their normal place of residence. This can be national or international. In addition to the normal processes involved in a funeral, there are mandatory requirements to comply with New Zealand or another countries when sending or receiving remains or ashes.

INTERNATIONAL  – Transportation of the Casket
In the case of a full body repatriation a death certificate, evidence that the body does not have a notifiable disease, a certificate of embalming, and the necessary export and import clearance for New Zealand and/or the country of destination.
The casket be hermetically sealed. This requirement differs from country to country. We will advise you of current requirements.
Because of the required processes, a repatriation to or from New Zealand can take up to 10 working days.
It is can be an expensive and time consuming process.
For who have died overseas and wish to be repatriated to New Zealand, most of the cost can often be covered by their travel insurance policy. Before proceeding, check with the travel insurance provider.

DOMESTIC REPATRIATION – Transportation of the Casket
Interisland repatriations are normally done by air transport with a prerequisite that the body be embalmed in most cases the casket will be consigned from funeral director to funeral director.
Families can also transport the casket themselves via road and ferry.

TRANSPORTING ASHES – international and domestic
Ashes can be taken by a family member or friend. If travelling by air you do have the option of taking them yourself as a carry-on item however you will require a Certificate of Cremation New Zealand Post will not accept ashes from the general public for courier this, must be done by a funeral director as there is documentation that is required.
If you wish to send them by courier, sending from funeral director to funeral director is the  recommended method. The reason being, courier companies require someone to be present and willing to sign for and accept the ashes upon delivery.
For more information or advice please contact us.

Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

Compassionate airfares maybe available through Air New Zealand to immediate family members needing to attend the funeral service only within New Zealand. If travelling internationally assistance only applies to change fees which are fees that apply to changing an existing booking and fare.

Applications are mostly made after travelling once you have supplied the necessary documentation.
Air New Zealand now require you to acquire prior approval by phone before applying for compassionate fares to prevent the application of being applied to cut rate fares. You can phone Air New Zealand  with your booking or ticket reference number on 0800 733 8637 and their staff will advise you if there is likely to be a refund or not.
If you are eligible for a refund either full or partial, you will fill in the form provided by us or by Air New Zealand and fax or mail it to Air New Zealand refunds team for processing.

At your request we will then forward the necessary form to Air New Zealand verifying the death.
Please feel free to ask us for further information.
Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

​ACC
If it has been deemed that someone has died an accidental death then you may be entitled to assistance from ACC to help with funeral costs.
The cause of death must be known before ACC can pay any compensation, this being determined by the Coroner. If there is to be no inquest, after the cause of death is established, ACC payments can be made immediately.
You can find out more by contacting ACC on 0800 222 075 or see www.acc.co.nz for more information.

Work & Income
A means tested funeral grant may be available based upon the situation of the deceased.
This must be applied for by the family NOT by the Funeral Director, however we are happy to assist you with the process of applying.
You can contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or on their website
www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/funeral-grant.html

Ex service Personnel
​In addition to the above grants, anyone who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces prior to December 1947 could be eligible to a free or subsidised cemetery plot in the Services portion of a local Cemetery. This may also apply to those who served in Korea, J. Force, Malaya or United Nation Peace Keeping Forces.
Contact Veteran’s Affairs NZ on 0800 483 8372 (0800 4 VETERAN) or see www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz for more information.

We can guide you through the application process.
Contact one of our funeral directors in your area to assist you today – Locations

You can hold a funeral service at almost any location.

Either at your place or ours. Wherever you choose to hold the service, we will liaise with the venue management and make all the necessary arrangements.

Our chapels –

Geraldine Funeral Services Chapel – Geraldine

www.geraldinefunerals.co.nz

Galbraith Funeral Services Chapel – Temuka

http://www.galbraithfuneralservice.co.nz/

Palmer Chapel – Christchurch

http://www.palmerfunerals.co.nz

Flaxton Park Chapel and Crematorium – Rangiora

https://www.gulliver-tyler.co.nz/flaxton-park.html

Salisbury Memorial Park & Crematorium – Timaru – not part of McKinnon Funeral group –http://www.sccrematorium.co.nz/ 

Northbrook Chapel & Rossburn Reception – Spark Lane – Northbrook Rangiora  – not part of McKinnon Funeral group but our most commonly used venue for funeral services in North Canterbury

https://www.gulliver-tyler.co.nz/venues.html  

We listen. We Guide. We Care.

Burial or Cremation

Burial or Cremation: This is one of the first questions you will be asked when you contact us in the event of a death because it affects the immediate paperwork done by the doctor or medical examiner and funeral director. Your loved one may have already made their wishes known to you or it may be a decision that you have to make. We will advise you of your options regarding all protocol for either choice and implement them on your behalf.

Preplan

For many reasons, unlike the other important occasions in our lives, a funeral service is mostly unplanned major event. None of us know the circumstances, time, date or place of our death and so advanced planning for what we want to happen when we die, makes life easier for those we leave behind. Talking about our wishes doesn’t make our time come any faster. Begin planning today. One of our funeral directors can guide and assist you in the process. Contact Us or look for one of our funeral homes in your region – Locations

Prepay

As well as preplanning, you might consider paying towards your funeral costs. This may help ease the financial burden for your family later.
Instead of prepaying into funeral insurance policies ​we recommend you drip feed funds into the trust held and managed by the Funeral Directors Association of NZ.  You can stop paying at anytime and not lose your funds unlike some funeral plans and you don’t pay more into the fund than you can redeem at the time of uplifting the funds.
​Any monies prepaid are held in trust for you or your nominee by FDANZ or the Public Trust Funeral Trust.

24/7 assistance
​For more information Contact Us today
for a no obligation discussion and information pack

​- 03 359 8088 –