During the first contact with Betts, the funeral director will ask whether the person who has passed wished to be buried or cremated. This decision determines the type of documentation to obtain that is legally required in New Zealand.


In decades gone by in New Zealand, burial was the most common choice and is still very popular today. Graves are special places, providing families with a focal point to return to and pay their respects. If a burial is your preferred option, keep in mind there will be a cost for purchasing a plot, alongside a fee for digging the plot (commonly called interment). Betts can arrange all of the details for the final resting place, either in a new plot or an existing one. Cemeteries will generally allow two interments in the same plot and if it is the first interment, we will put a white grave marker cross at the site until a headstone is placed there. Burial sites to choose from are officially designated by New Zealand law.



Cremation is now a widely accepted alternative to burial in New Zealand and is becoming more common each year. More people are now cremated in South Canterbury than buried. Betts attends to all of the formalities that need to take place for a cremation. The cremation usually takes place on the day of the funeral and in most cases, the ashes are back in our care within 48 hours of the cremation ready for the family. The family can then decide what to do with the ashes which could include interring them at a cemetery or memorial garden, scattering them in a favourite place or splitting them so different family members can have a portion of their loved one with them. We can help with interring the ashes by organising and helping to choose the plot and help on the day with the interment if wished. Betts have assisted with the scattering of ashes from boats, aeroplanes and 4WD only locations and are more than happy to help in this. We also have a wide range of beautiful urns, special scattering cylinders and jewellery that the ashes can be placed into.

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