Overseas Death: can the body be cremated in New Zealand?

  • Yes, so long as equivalent certificates (Coroner Form C or medical Form B) are issued from authorities in the country where the person died.
  • This should be arranged via a Funeral Director and the crematorium - the paperwork is complex.
  • Relevant legislation: Cremation Regulations 1973 s7(7):
  • In the case of a person who has died in any place outside New Zealand, the Medical Referee may accept a declaration containing the particulars required by form A of Schedule 1, if it purports to have been made before any person having authority in that place to administer an oath or take a declaration, and he may accept certificates in the said form B or the said form E or certificates which, in his opinion, are substantially equivalent thereto, signed by any person shown to his satisfaction to possess qualifications substantially equivalent to those required by these regulations to be possessed by any person giving any such certificate in New Zealand.
  • Minimum requirements: paperwork must still be checked by a Medical Referee in New Zealand - so should have a certified English translation if documentation is in a foreign language.
  • The absence (or removal) of a pacemaker must be certified.