Our Funeral Services

Before the funeral

Cemetery and Crematorium Bookings

In most cemeteries you can choose a plot in a location of your choice and we can arrange for a visit with the sexton to help select the appropriate resting place.

We are able to attend to the necessary arrangements for a burial or cremation service and have extensive knowledge of local cemetery and crematoria options and requirements. As there is no crematorium in the Franklin District, cremations are carried out at one of the crematoriums in Auckland.

A private cremation after a local funeral and committal service is the most common choice for families. Manukau Memorial Gardens Crematorium, being the closest to Franklin District, is the usual destination, unless otherwise requested.

Family Notices

Most families choose to place a Death and Funeral Notice in the newspaper, be it a local or national newspaper. This serves to inform relatives and friends of the death and where and when the funeral service is to be held.

Our funeral directors can offer advice on the wording and place the notice in a newspaper in New Zealand or overseas. Notices and tribute pages can also be set up online on the internet.

The day of the funeral

Floral arrangements

Flowers 1
Flowers 1
Flowers 1
Flowers 1
Flowers 1

Flowers are a traditional part of New Zealand funerals. We can offer advice on casket flowers, arrangements for the church, chapel or funeral venue and farewell flowers. We can arrange for flowers to be sent to the family residence, the funeral venue or overseas. We are happy to liaise with your own florist or with one of our recommended florists.

Or, if you wish, we can arrange the option of donations in lieu of flowers to your chosen charity. A sign, envelopes and a donation box will be set up at the service venue.

Audio and / or Video Recording of Funeral Services

In circumstances where family and friends are overseas or unable to attend, we can arrange for a professional video recording to be taken at short notice. Most churches and chapels have facilities to audio record a service. If not our staff can attend to this for you.

More and more families are requesting this service as it provides a lasting record of a final farewell that can be replayed at a later time if their grief at the time of the service clouded their recollection of events.

Grahams Funeral Home, Tuakau now has the capabilities to livestream a service through Oneroom. This allows family and friends to view a service online, either live or at a later date.


Music is a special way to help personalise a funeral service. The right music at the right time can provide a meaningful tribute or remembrance. An organist or pianist, CD/DVD, bugler, piper or other soloists could provide the appropriate effect. We also have the capabilities to download and source virtually any song or piece of music.

DVD / Video Tributes

These allow a professional presentation to help celebrate the life at the funeral service. For a very reasonable price a DVD tribute consisting of a series of approximately 30 photos combined with music can be prepared and is usually played as a reflection time during the service after the Eulogy and tributes. Further copies can be provided as a special keepsake for families and friends.

Service sheets and Bereavement Cards

A lot of families choose to have a printed "Order of Service" which can include photos of the deceased, details of service venue, date and time, words to hymns and readings, messages, invitations and thanks. They provide a memento of the service and are often sent to family or friends who couldn't attend.

Bereavement cards provide a way of saying thank you to family and friends for their love and support before, during or after the bereavement.

Technology allows both these to be printed in-house at a reasonable cost and at relatively short notice.

Memorial Registers

Many families choose to have a memorial register or book to allow mourners to record their attendance and/or note a thought or memory of the deceased. Such a book allows them to reflect on who attended the service if they didn't have the opportunity to speak to everybody. It can also be helpful when sending out bereavement thank you cards.


Our reception lounges have an excellent reputation for providing a very comprehensive morning, afternoon tea or light luncheon following the funeral service in our chapel. We can also arrange catering at other reception venues, church halls or at your home.

Celebrant or Clergy Choices

Our funeral directors will endeavor to engage a celebrant that your family will relate well with and one that will be able to put together a farewell service or life celebration that is appropriate for your loved one.

Casket Selection

We have a display room at our funeral home in Tuakau should you prefer to choose a casket this way or our funeral directors have a photographic catalogue with them if the funeral arrangement is conducted at a residence. Casket choice has differing levels of importance and priority for different families and we respect that you have a choice.

Casket options

Options for Ashes after cremation

There are numerous options and the decision is a personal one for the family to make. Ashes make be kept at home, interred in public cemetery or on private land, scattered over land or water, taken or returned to a homeland overseas, a portion can be used to produce an item of jewelry or fused into a glass sphere to name some options. Our funeral directors can advise you whether your idea is possible. We have a large selection of urns for the complete cremated remains as well as portion size urns if they are to be shared. Consideration and respect of cultural matters should be a part of your decision.

Other arrangements

Financial Arrangements

Our funeral directors will be pleased to provide an estimate of costs, based on discussions at the time of the initial funeral interview. This estimate should only be used as a guide, as extra items/services are often requested following the initial interview. You will also be asked to sign an authority form at the time of the arrangement. Payment is due six weeks from the date of death. Arrangements for extended credit can be made with appropriate service fee and interest payable.

Because death may occur unexpectedly or when funds are not immediately accessible, financial assistance may need to be sought. A means tested Funeral Grant may be available from Work and Income NZ; or if the death is a result of an accident, from ACC. We can help with such applications.

Payment can be made by cash, cheque, eftpos, internet banking or credit card.

Death Certificate

The information required for the death certificate will be collected from you when the funeral is being arranged. This, along with the information from a medical or coroners certificate and the date and place of burial or cremation, is used to produce the certified New Zealand Death Certificate.

Certificates are usually available within a week of the funeral service and will be forwarded to the family or solicitor as advised. You will be asked to check a proof of this information before we register through an on-line process.

After the funeral

Dealing with Grief

As funeral directors we understand that the experience of grief can be a journey, regardless of age, sex, creed and culture. How we grieve also varies significantly from person to person, with feelings of disbelief, shock, anger, numbness, loneliness or despair.

The feelings experienced when you are bereaved are healthy, normal and a part of the healing process. Trying to suppress them can lead to more intense reactions, physically, emotionally or physiologically.

People do react differently to the loss of a loved one and there are no set procedures or steps that can be or need to be taken to help someone through this difficult time.

We also accept that we are not health professionals but would like to offer some help for the way to care for those grieving.


  • Realise the bereaved has suffered a loss
  • Acknowledge that each griever’s style of grieving will be unique
  • Listen and hear what is being said, even if it is repeated over and over again
  • Allow children to share in the grief process with the adults, including viewing the deceased and attending the funeral service
  • Encourage the griever to express emotion and to work through their grief
  • Advise against making major decisions in the first few months as this is a time for healing and reorganisation, not enormous change
  • Recognise the intensity of grief that will be experienced at certain significant times, e.g. anniversaries and special dates
  • Give them space. The griever will acknowledge reality when they are able to
  • Do not be turned off by repetitive knockbacks to your efforts to assist
  • Encourage the griever to live and love again when they are ready to do this.

Think of your journey as one that started in the darkest of night. In the dim light, you began your travels, afraid and uncertain, aware of only the emptiness surrounding you. But day follows night, and what seemed so unbearable at first has become a load that, while not easy, is much lighter to carry.

As your journey continues, you will find the pain lessening. Don’t be afraid of it – you are not betraying your loved one. You have simply traded regret for hope, despair for peace.

For further information, help or advice, contact Grahams on 09 236 8919 anytime.

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