COVID-19


Managing our funeral services in the current Covid-19 environment

Update:

New Zealand has now entered level 2 of the Covid-19 alert level.  This means that for at least 2 weeks and possibly longer, funeral services or tangi will able to take place with some restrictions. 

The current Ministry of Health Directives say that we can have funerals as long as no more than 50 people gather for the service.

At Harbour City Funeral Home we intimately know the value of a funeral and deeply understand that not being able to have one will be very distressing. Ideally, a funeral takes place shortly following a death with the bereaved community gathering to mourn as one, and for generations this has been the case.  For now, this can only be done with some restrictions.

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Burial/Cremation:

Burials and cremations will still be taking place however there is a restriction from the Ministry of Health that says that up to 50 people can be present.  Burials can take place but again up to 50 people may attend the burial + the funeral director and minister or celebrant. Cremations can take place at crematoriums however again there are restrictions on how each crematorium will operate at this time, again up to 50 people can attend the funeral at the crematorium. In the case of cremations we can stream this service to family and friends that cannot be at the service due to the restrictions on numbers via secure link on the internet.

Memorial Service:

We firmly believe in the value to the community of holding a funeral, which is why our first recommendation if someone you love dies while we are under the different alert level’s you may like to consider arranging a memorial service.  This means that a burial or cremation will take place in the days shortly following death and we will work with you to plan the memorial service for later.  We will do everything we usually do in guiding you through your options and, when we are able to set a date, will ensure you still remember and mourn appropriately with your community.


OUR PROCESS (updated):

At Harbour City Funeral Home we take the health and wellbeing of our staff and client families very seriously.  With the current unprecedented measures taking place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), below are the measures we are implementing to support our staff and community.


First Call:

When someone dies and you make that first call to us, in addition to our usual questions we will ask for confirmation that anybody present has had the opportunity to say their goodbyes as we will require the room/facility to be vacated when we transfer your loved one into our care.  This is for the safety of our staff.

Transfer:

Our staff will don PPE (gloves and facemask) when they arrive.  Please be prepared for this as although you may be clear of the room/facility you may still be on site and see us bringing the person who has died into our care.  If you are, our staff will also maintain physical distance from you.  Additionally, a facemask may be placed on the deceased.  This is because air can be exhaled as we transfer onto our stretcher.  Again, these measures are for the safety of all involved.

Funeral Arrangement:

We can conduct funeral arrangements by meeting with a family representative at our office or we can do a funeral arrangement remotely using technology (phone, email, facetime, Skype etc).  We will work with you to make this time as easy as possible given the difficult restrictions the Ministry of Health have placed on the Funeral profession.

Viewing:

The Ministry of Health have now advised us that the restrictions in relation to viewing the person who has died has been lifted, as long as numbers are managed by the funeral home. You are now able to take the person home or onto a Marae setting as long as the marae is comfortable with this.  So this relaxing of the viewing rules will allow all members of your family to come in and spend time with the person who has died.

Please make contact with your funeral director to make an appointment time for the viewing to occur. Please do not turn up unannounced we do need people to make appointments for viewings.

Embalming must take place if you choose to view the person who has died at this time.

Funeral:

Funerals of up to 50 people can now occur.  At Harbour City Funeral Home we have all technology available to ensure that services can be seen by friends and family who are precluded from attending due to distance or other circumstances.

Churches may be open for small funerals, but we will need to check with a church if this is your preferred option. All of our chapels are available for funerals at this time.

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Simon Manning

Questions:

We are committed to providing our families with great service in the weeks and months ahead but please understand that there may be some changes to our usual practices as the situation changes. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how the situation might affect your specific funeral, please contact our office so we can assist further.

Please take care and look out for each other so we can minimise the risks to you and your family.

If you or your family have immediate concerns relating to Covid-19, please call the dedicated Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or visit the Ministry website here.

You may make contact with our office at anytime if you have questions about any aspect of services.

Thank you,
Simon Manning

Harbour City Funeral Homes