Natural Burials


We are the not-for-profit organisation that introduced certified natural burials to New Zealand and advises local councils on how to establish natural burial cemeteries across the country.

We promote, certify and monitor cemeteries, coffin makers and funeral directors for adherence to our standards.
We advise consumers of their rights.

What is a natural burial? Check our description here.

Call us
0800 525 500

Email us

38 thoughts on “Home

  1. Katy

    Hi, my friend has a terminal illness and has always wanted to be buried under a tree. How do we go about this and what are the costs involved. Is there a cemetery near Feilding?

    1. admin Post author

      Hello, your closest natural cemetery is Otaki, as Palmertson North Councillors voted down the planned site, so another one is being sought. All you will need to do is contact the local Natural Burials certified funeral director, Kapiti Coast funeral home (04-298 5168), and they will help with arrangements including booking the plot. An alternative is to plan on using the Wellington cemetery, which is nicer.

  2. Patrick Moss

    what is the closest natural burial site to Central Auckland? How would I arrange for this in my will?

    Thanks in advance

    1. admin Post author

      Hello there,
      Unfortunately you don’t have many options in Auckland or the region. The closest is in Hamilton. Although we have not yet certified this cemetery, it was prepared after consultation with us, and we have offered to the Council that we certify and promote the site.
      The Waikumete cemetery in Auckland is looking into setting up a natural burial zone and we have approached them to assist and certify. But it has not yet ready.
      In terms of arrangements, your best course is to mention in your will that you want a natural burial at a natural cemetery BUT you also need to write this in a “living will” which you keep around home and provide to who-ever may be looking after your affairs should you die. Our organisation certified funeral directors who are able to conduct natural burials. If you use a certified director, they will know what to do the moment they are called.
      Thanks for your question.

    1. admin Post author

      Not very well we’re sorry to say. We have had absolutely no interest from the Council in the past when we have appraoched them. Are you interested in being part of a local advocacy group? They make all the difference in our work partnering with Councils to set up a successful site. We have had several inquiries from people in Whangarei. Please let us know.

  3. Dianne

    Hi like one of your questions this is also from Auckland. Who are your organisation certified funeral directors you may suggest up here so embalming etc does not occur. I understand that there is still a delay in obtaining eco funerals here but if you wanted to go to Wellington you still could but pay an out of area fee?

    1. admin Post author

      Our certified funeral director in Auckland is State of Grace funerals. They’re wonderful. Most funeral directors know how to deal with not embalming, but you have to be insistent. I’m afraid you are right about the out of area fee the Wgtn Council charges to people who have lived outside Wellington city for more than five years before death. It’s about $900. If that’s not a significant problem, funeral directors, or friends and relatives, can transport the body themselves to Wellington. It’s happened a couple of times already. There is a site in Hamilton, but it is not yet certifed by us.

  4. Belinda

    Hi ,
    Can you tell me if there is any update on natural burial sites in the Auckland region? I would love to see this pushed forward. I understand Waikumete Cemetery is nearly at capacity and was wondering what thought has been given to new burial sites. It would be great to start off a new site with a natural burial area.

    1. admin Post author

      Very good question. We’ve advocated for a site in the region for years. Amalgamation held things up. Waikumete Cemetery is proposing setting one up in a new dedicated zone. We’ve not had a chance to see it, but we know from our work elsewhere that location is very important to the success. We are trying to pull together a fledgling advocacy group and need people to lead it. If you can help, please let us know – otherwise, keep watching these pages for more info.

  5. Michele

    Hi there, Can you please give me some info regarding any natural burial sites near Christchuch. many thanks from Michele

    1. admin Post author

      Hello. Current sites in the South Island are in Marlborough and Nelson. Christchurch and Dunedin both agreed to set one upa long time ago, but have not found a site. Christchurch Council has all but given up looking for one. We’re concentrating on finding one on Banks Peninsula. There is a Canterbury region support group, advocating to set up a site.

  6. vicki

    Hello. Please could you let me know what options are available in the South Canterbury area. In fact, do you have a list for the whole of New Zealand? We have just buried my dad in England in a beautiful woodland cemetery and I want to ensure I can do the same in NZ. Thanks.

    1. admin Post author

      Hi there, we’re afraid that there is nothing around your area yet. Christchurch and Dunedin both agreed to set one upa long time ago, but have not found a site. Current sites in the South Island are in Marlborough and Nelson. North Island sites are in Wellington (the flagship), Otaki, New Plymouth, Carterton, and Hamilton (not certified).

  7. Belinda

    Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I am really interested in the natural burial idea mostly from and ecological point of view. I don’t have any expertise in funerals, but I would be interested in being involved in an advocacy group.

  8. Helen

    Hi, First great work doing this! I’m hoping there’ll be an eco-plot for me when my time comes.
    Also, a few things for your consideration to make this web-page better, if/when you have time. 1. I can’t read the bluey grey text below here, on the green background.You might like to consider a brighter font for the text.
    2. Dates on posts would be good, so we know how recent or old the information is. Maybe they are there but not visible because of 1.
    3. links to the cemeteries with eco burial sites and to some suitable funeral directors.
    I realize you’re probably all volunteers with lots of other stuff to do, and understand perfectly if this is low priority or beyond your capacities at present. Just thought you’d like to know about the visibility issue.

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks for the heads up and advice. We’ve recently changed to the wordpress format, and it’s taken some getting used to. We’re adding content gradually this week.

  9. Jenny Elliott

    Hi…I’dI say thank you for the work you are doing….what about hawkes bay? Any options for a natural burial there? And is there an advocacy group that you know of?

    1. admin Post author

      Hello Jenny,

      We’re not aware of any plans in the Hawkes Bay. We’ve had two or three people from the area buried in the Wgtn cemetery. In terms of groups, there was a Hawkes Bay “die-alogue” held by the
      Hospice Tairawhiti in May at a Gisborne café. They got people together to talk about death and dying. They are hoping to convene a group of people particularly interested in natural burials, to help advocate for a natural cemetery locally, If you are interested, contact
      Nicola Carroll,

  10. Robin Treadwell

    Hi – wonderful to find your site, and thank you for all the work you are doing! We are interested in setting up an eco-burial option on Waiheke and would appreciate your advice.
    Meantime, please advise re your publications – is there both the book for $19 and the Natural Wishes living will pack for $17 incl p&p? I would like both. Thanks. Robin

    1. admin Post author

      Hello Robin,
      I apologise for missing this message from you. That’s great news that you’re looking at setting up a natural cemetery in Waiheke. That is a wonderful location! Please contact us directly by phone to discuss how we can work togethert to make it a reality: 0800 525 500.
      Yes, we have the book for $19, which covers a lot of the practical aspects behind natural burial and advice on what’s involved in the burial, funeral and in the cemeteries. Our living will pack is $30, and includes the book, living will template documents, a guide to writing a living will and various background material. The best option is to deposit the money into our bank account and email us your contact details:
      All proceeds go to our not for profit work like helping people who want to set up natural cemeteries!

  11. Dean

    Just curious really. What certification(s) do State of Grace hold that makes them the organization certified funeral directors? Are there natural burial / cremation service certifications one should be aware of when researching funeral homes and directors??

    1. admin Post author

      Hello Dean,
      That’s a very good question. Yes, State of Grace are certified by as as funeral directors who carry out natural burials to our standard. This is not a certification of their funeral directors training, but rather that they know how to carry out a natural burial (there’s practical actions required when not embalming, and in following a “nothing synthetic in the ground” approach), that they ensure a personalised funeral, and that they are committed to the principles. Customer feedback is important to our continued certification. There is general inudstry training for funeral directors, and customers should look for evidence of that – but there is little substitute for experience, and for talent in the customer-facing elements of natural burials.

  12. Lisa

    Hi there – do you know anything about a potential site in the Bay of Plenty. Someone told me about a proposed site in Te Puke. Do you know who I can contact about this? I would like to help advocate for a site here – and have started a graphic design project on natural burials. Perhaps I can help them out?

    1. admin Post author

      HI there Lisa,
      We’re not aware of a site planned in Te Puke, but there is a small effort gathering to set one up. You should get in contact with Wendy, the secretary-treasurer of Te Puke Environmental forum. They held an Environmental Forum in July about Natural Burials. They are keen on all the support they can get. In our experience, local effort is one half of the solution to getting a council to set one up. The other half is the contribution of our experience.

  13. Lea

    It’s great to see the new natural burial area at Waikumete Cemetery officially opened this week. A lovely blessing ceremony and tree planting was held.

    1. admin Post author

      Hi there Fiona – I’m sorry but we’ve not had any contact with anyone trying to set up a site at Waiheke. We’d be pleased to learn about local people wanting a site, and only to glad to help them out.

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