The duty funeral director

Unless the person has died in hospital, the Police will call their local duty funeral director. This person will take the person’s body to a designated hospital mortuary, where a post-mortem will be conducted. This service is free. The family does not have to choose the duty funeral director to help them from then on, but they can if they want to.

If you choose to use a different funeral director for the person’s funeral, it is best to call them as soon as possible after the death. This way, they can make arrangements for when the person’s body is released from the mortuary.

Once a body is at the hospital mortuary, immediate family members or whānau can ask to view and spend time with the body. Some hospitals have a family or whānau room for this purpose.

In some cases, it may not be possible to view a body. Usually this is when a body has been badly damaged. If this happened, mortuary staff and the funeral director can discuss options with you.