What’s the difference? Coffin is the term that has traditionally been used in England and refers to a shaped casket that is wider at the shoulders and more pointed at the feet. A casket is an oblong (rectangle) shape and commonly seen in the United States of America.

In New Zealand we use casket to describe both shapes as it is seen as a more modern and less oppressive word.

Children’s caskets are either oblong or shaped. They may be supplied as natural radiata pine or painted in the traditional white; however we can arrange for them to be painted in any colour you wish.

We provide a variety of caskets including solid timber, particleboard/MDF, cardboard and bamboo. We also stock metal and wooden American-style caskets. The finish of the caskets can be: solid mahogany or rimu, mahogany or rimu vinyl veneers, white painted, or painted in any colour you choose. There is also a range of caskets available with vinyl transfers that you may choose if they reflect the personality of the person who has died, or we can arrange for a vinyl transfer to be created from your personal artwork.


Eco Caskets

The untreated radiata pine caskets come from a renewable resource that supports our local economy. The caskets are sourced from Rob and Elizabeth Green, who grow and mill the timber on their own land in Manawatu and produce the caskets on site. No chemicals have been used on their property.

This pine casket is available in three styles: a shaped style and two rectangular options. There are rope handles for carrying the casket. The lining is made of untreated calico and is simple in appearance.

A children’s oblong casket is also available.

Some modern-style caskets have also been produced based on eco friendly principles. The adult casket is available in radiata pine and bamboo; the children’s style comes in bamboo only at this stage.

For more information download the Caskets (PDF)



Following a cremation, the cremated remains (commonly referred to as ashes) are returned to the funeral home in a plastic container. This container is then placed into an appropriately coloured cardboard box. This box is suitable for storage if you are choosing to scatter the ashes at a later date.

If you wish to keep the cremated remains at home or if you wish to bury them, you may choose to have them placed in a more attractive and decorative urn.

Our options for urns are similar to the casket range. An urn can be made of solid wood or particleboard/MDF, painted the same colour as the casket, or given a vinyl veneer transfer to match the casket, or may be resin, slate, or metal based. You can also choose to supply your own container into which we will transfer the ashes.

For more information download the Urns (PDF).

Harbour City Funeral Homes