The Lychway

We walk with you every step of the way.

How does it work?

We have a great team with ample experience, both personally and professionally. We are here to help guide you.

when a loved one dies

The first few hours after a loved one’s passing can be a very emotional and stressful time. We can assist and guide you through every step of the way.

In the first instance, you may find it easier to make contact with any one of our team at The Lychway (06) 357 8143 and we will be able to assist you.

Once you have made contact with us, allow us to take a lot of the pressure from you and do what needs to be done on your behalf.

Rest assured that we will always keep you fully informed of each process as we proceed.

We have created an easy ‘first meeting’ sheet here for you to print out and fill for when you come in. This sheet allows us to get the information to the government quickly. See below our quick guide to dealing with your loved one.

To guide you through the immediate details. We are available 24/7.

Inform the family doctor

Depending on where the person has died and the manner of death, you may need to contact the coroner.

Contact the next of kin

Locate your loved ones will

This will outline any preference they may have had funeral arrangments and identity the executor of the will.

Commence funeral arrangements with The Lychway Funeral Directors.

We have created a quick help guide below to help answer any other questions you might have.

What do I do when a death occurs?

Someone in your family or close to you has died and nothing can soften the shock and emotional distress you feel. “What do I do now?” is often the first question asked.

As hard as it is, the first thing is not to panic or get over stressed with worry, although this is easier said than done.

In the first instance you may find it easier to make contact with any one of our team at

The Lychway, (06) 3578143 and allow us to take a lot of the pressure from you and do what needs to be done on your behalf. We are available to you 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and we ask you to call us and allow us to assist you and guide you through the process.

So …. depending on where the person has passed away will in some ways direct you to the next step in the process.

If the person has passed away in hospital or other facility?

When a death occurs in a hospital, hospice or rest home it is common practice for the staff there to contact the doctor, on your behalf, to issue a Medical Certificate of Causes of Death. You may wish to spend time with your loved one before contacting us and the subsequent transferral of the deceased into our care. Rest homes often request information at the time of admittance. Questions such as the main contact person, preference of Funeral Director, and whether the person’s wish is to be buried or cremated.

When a resident dies in a rest home or hospital they will offer to contact us on your behalf. The care provider will inform us of the death and arrange a convenient time to transfer the deceased to the funeral home. Making your instructions clear to them is important.

Tell the rest home or hospital staff if you wish to spend time with the person who has died prior to us transferring them to the funeral home.

If the person has passed away at home?

When a death occurs in a hospital, hospice or rest home it is common practice for the staff there to contact the doctor, on your behalf, to issue a Medical Certificate of Causes of Death. You may wish to spend time with your loved one before contacting us and the subsequent transferral of the deceased into our care. Rest homes often request information at the time of admittance. Questions such as the main contact person, preference of Funeral Director, and whether the person’s wish is to be buried or cremated.

When a resident dies in a rest home or hospital they will offer to contact us on your behalf. The care provider will inform us of the passing and arrange a convenient time to transfer the deceased to the funeral home. Making your instructions clear to them is important.

Tell the rest home or hospital staff if you wish to spend time with the person who has died prior to us transferring them to the funeral home.

Leave a phone number and address so we can make contact with you, an indication of a time frame when you would like to be contacted by us is also helpful.

If the person has passed away by accidental death?

An accidental death encompasses a variety of different circumstances; however in all these situations the police will need to be involved. They will examine the scene before organising a funeral director to transfer the deceased to a funeral home or hospital mortuary.

If the person has passed away out of town?

Contact us immediately.  Our focus will be to get your loved one home as soon as possible. We will make all the arrangements and prepare the required documentation. You will be kept fully informed of progress and once the preliminary arrangements have been finalised, we can discuss the funeral details.

If the person has passed away by Sudden Death?

If a doctor is unable to determine the cause of death and issue the associated legal documentation, the death will be reported to the Coroner. The Coroner is a legal officer appointed under the Coroners Act who has the duty to establish the cause of death in certain circumstances. In New Zealand, a death is reported to the Coroner by contacting the Police, who act as the “Coroner’s Agent”.

The coroner may become involved when:

  • a doctor is unavailable or unable to establish the cause of death
  • there has been no recent consultation with a medical practitioner
  • there is a sudden unexpected death
  • death occurs from other than natural causes
  • there is an accidental death

If the person has passed away overseas?

When a death occurs overseas, it can add a number of complications to what is already a difficult time. It is important to contact us as soon as possible for advice and assistance on the options available to you, as well as to discuss anything specific to the situation. In general, when someone dies overseas you have two basic options:

  1. bring the person home to New Zealand,
  2. or carry out funeral arrangements in the country where the death has occurred.

In either event, a funeral director or the local equivalent in the other country will need to be engaged to assist. Depending on where the death has occurred we may be able to recommend who to use in the other country based on past experience.

If not, there may be family or friends with the deceased in the foreign country that will make the necessary funeral arrangements.

Another good source of information about what happens in this situation, in other countries, is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

When dealing with an overseas death, the key is patience. Other countries have different processes to follow than we do here in New Zealand – even countries similar to ours. This process may appear as though it is taking a long time to happen.

When the intention is to bring the deceased home to New Zealand, it would be wise not to set a day and time for the funeral until the arrival details into the country are known with certainty. It is also wise to allow enough time for airline delays, and for the possibility of viewing and other formalities in New Zealand before the funeral.

The death is registered in the country where the death occurred.

If the person has passed away and needs repatriation to another country?

When someone dies in New Zealand who is to be repatriated to another country for burial or cremation, contact us for assistance. In addition to the normal processes that are involved in a funeral, there are other requirements which must be fulfilled to meet the regulations of the country receiving the deceased, and also the airline which will carry the deceased home. In general terms, you will require a death certificate, evidence that the body does not have a notifiable disease, a certificate of embalming, and the necessary export and import clearance for New Zealand and the country of destination. It is also a requirement that the casket be hermetically sealed. These requirements vary from country to country and we are able to inform you of the requirements specific to your situation, and carry them out so the repatriation runs smoothly.

When the deceased is to be sent to another country the following questions might need to be considered;

  1.  Will a funeral service be held in New Zealand prior to departure
  2.  Who will look after the arrangements in the other country?
  3.  Are there family that wish to travel on the same flight as the casket?

When sending ashes to another country, you do have the option of taking them yourself as a carry-on item, if you have the correct documentation. If you wish to send them by post or courier, sending the ashes from one funeral director to another is the recommended method.  New Zealand Post will not accept ashes from the general public. Again, contact us for assistance.

If the person has passed away and organ donation has been noted?

Many New Zealander’s have ticked “yes” to becoming a donor on their driver’s licence however less than 1% of people who die can donate organs for transplantation. Organ donation – can only happen when a person is on a ventilator in an intensive care unit and has fatal brain damage.

Tissue donation – (heart valves, eyes and skin) can occur in many more circumstances and can be facilitated a number of hours following death.

People of all ages may be considered for tissue donation and there are very few illnesses that would prevent such a donation.

Every year families in New Zealand generously agree to organ and tissue donation following the death of a loved family member saving or improving the lives of many grateful recipients.

A health professional from Organ Donation NZ is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions about donation or to facilitate organ and tissue donation.

when a loved one dies
when a loved one dies

The first few hours after a loved one’s passing can be a very emotional and stressful time. We can assist and guide you through every step of the way.

In the first instance, you may find it easier to make contact with any one of our team at The Lychway (06) 357 8143 and we will be able to assist you.

Once you have made contact with us, allow us to take a lot of the pressure from you and do what needs to be done on your behalf.

Rest assured that we will always keep you fully informed of each process as we proceed.

We have created an easy ‘first meeting’ sheet here for you to print out and fill for when you come in. This sheet allows us to get the information to the government quickly. See below our quick guide to dealing with your loved one.

To guide you through the immediate details. We are available 24/7.

Inform the family doctor

Depending on where the person has died and the manner of death, you may need to contact the coroner.

Contact the next of kin

Locate your loved ones will

This will outline any preference they may have had funeral arrangments and identity the executor of the will.

Commence funeral arrangements with The Lychway Funeral Directors.

We have created a quick help guide below to help answer any other questions you might have.

What do I do when a death occurs?

Someone in your family or close to you has died and nothing can soften the shock and emotional distress you feel. “What do I do now?” is often the first question asked.

As hard as it is, the first thing is not to panic or get over stressed with worry, although this is easier said than done.

In the first instance you may find it easier to make contact with any one of our team at

The Lychway, (06) 3578143 and allow us to take a lot of the pressure from you and do what needs to be done on your behalf. We are available to you 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and we ask you to call us and allow us to assist you and guide you through the process.

So …. depending on where the person has passed away will in some ways direct you to the next step in the process.

If the person has passed away in hospital or other facility?

When a death occurs in a hospital, hospice or rest home it is common practice for the staff there to contact the doctor, on your behalf, to issue a Medical Certificate of Causes of Death. You may wish to spend time with your loved one before contacting us and the subsequent transferral of the deceased into our care. Rest homes often request information at the time of admittance. Questions such as the main contact person, preference of Funeral Director, and whether the person’s wish is to be buried or cremated.

When a resident dies in a rest home or hospital they will offer to contact us on your behalf. The care provider will inform us of the death and arrange a convenient time to transfer the deceased to the funeral home. Making your instructions clear to them is important.

Tell the rest home or hospital staff if you wish to spend time with the person who has died prior to us transferring them to the funeral home.

If the person has passed away at home?

When a death occurs in a hospital, hospice or rest home it is common practice for the staff there to contact the doctor, on your behalf, to issue a Medical Certificate of Causes of Death. You may wish to spend time with your loved one before contacting us and the subsequent transferral of the deceased into our care. Rest homes often request information at the time of admittance. Questions such as the main contact person, preference of Funeral Director, and whether the person’s wish is to be buried or cremated.

When a resident dies in a rest home or hospital they will offer to contact us on your behalf. The care provider will inform us of the passing and arrange a convenient time to transfer the deceased to the funeral home. Making your instructions clear to them is important.

Tell the rest home or hospital staff if you wish to spend time with the person who has died prior to us transferring them to the funeral home.

Leave a phone number and address so we can make contact with you, an indication of a time frame when you would like to be contacted by us is also helpful.

If the person has passed away by accidental death?

An accidental death encompasses a variety of different circumstances; however in all these situations the police will need to be involved. They will examine the scene before organising a funeral director to transfer the deceased to a funeral home or hospital mortuary.

If the person has passed away out of town?

Contact us immediately.  Our focus will be to get your loved one home as soon as possible. We will make all the arrangements and prepare the required documentation. You will be kept fully informed of progress and once the preliminary arrangements have been finalised, we can discuss the funeral details.

If the person has passed away by Sudden Death?

If a doctor is unable to determine the cause of death and issue the associated legal documentation, the death will be reported to the Coroner. The Coroner is a legal officer appointed under the Coroners Act who has the duty to establish the cause of death in certain circumstances. In New Zealand, a death is reported to the Coroner by contacting the Police, who act as the “Coroner’s Agent”.

The coroner may become involved when:

  • a doctor is unavailable or unable to establish the cause of death
  • there has been no recent consultation with a medical practitioner
  • there is a sudden unexpected death
  • death occurs from other than natural causes
  • there is an accidental death

If the person has passed away overseas?

When a death occurs overseas, it can add a number of complications to what is already a difficult time. It is important to contact us as soon as possible for advice and assistance on the options available to you, as well as to discuss anything specific to the situation. In general, when someone dies overseas you have two basic options:

  1. bring the person home to New Zealand,
  2. or carry out funeral arrangements in the country where the death has occurred.

In either event, a funeral director or the local equivalent in the other country will need to be engaged to assist. Depending on where the death has occurred we may be able to recommend who to use in the other country based on past experience.

If not, there may be family or friends with the deceased in the foreign country that will make the necessary funeral arrangements.

Another good source of information about what happens in this situation, in other countries, is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

When dealing with an overseas death, the key is patience. Other countries have different processes to follow than we do here in New Zealand – even countries similar to ours. This process may appear as though it is taking a long time to happen.

When the intention is to bring the deceased home to New Zealand, it would be wise not to set a day and time for the funeral until the arrival details into the country are known with certainty. It is also wise to allow enough time for airline delays, and for the possibility of viewing and other formalities in New Zealand before the funeral.

The death is registered in the country where the death occurred.

If the person has passed away and needs repatriation to another country?

When someone dies in New Zealand who is to be repatriated to another country for burial or cremation, contact us for assistance. In addition to the normal processes that are involved in a funeral, there are other requirements which must be fulfilled to meet the regulations of the country receiving the deceased, and also the airline which will carry the deceased home. In general terms, you will require a death certificate, evidence that the body does not have a notifiable disease, a certificate of embalming, and the necessary export and import clearance for New Zealand and the country of destination. It is also a requirement that the casket be hermetically sealed. These requirements vary from country to country and we are able to inform you of the requirements specific to your situation, and carry them out so the repatriation runs smoothly.

When the deceased is to be sent to another country the following questions might need to be considered;

  1.  Will a funeral service be held in New Zealand prior to departure
  2.  Who will look after the arrangements in the other country?
  3.  Are there family that wish to travel on the same flight as the casket?

When sending ashes to another country, you do have the option of taking them yourself as a carry-on item, if you have the correct documentation. If you wish to send them by post or courier, sending the ashes from one funeral director to another is the recommended method.  New Zealand Post will not accept ashes from the general public. Again, contact us for assistance.

If the person has passed away and organ donation has been noted?

Many New Zealander’s have ticked “yes” to becoming a donor on their driver’s licence however less than 1% of people who die can donate organs for transplantation. Organ donation – can only happen when a person is on a ventilator in an intensive care unit and has fatal brain damage.

Tissue donation – (heart valves, eyes and skin) can occur in many more circumstances and can be facilitated a number of hours following death.

People of all ages may be considered for tissue donation and there are very few illnesses that would prevent such a donation.

Every year families in New Zealand generously agree to organ and tissue donation following the death of a loved family member saving or improving the lives of many grateful recipients.

A health professional from Organ Donation NZ is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions about donation or to facilitate organ and tissue donation.

when a loved one dies
viewing a loved one

Viewing a loved one

We have created a quick help guide below to help answer questions you might have around spending some time with your
loved one in one of our viewing rooms.

Spending time with the person who has died?

Spending time with a person who has died is traditional for many people around the world. This pattern changed during the last century for some groups of people and they began to feel uneasy about being with the body of someone close. In recent years that has changed again, and the practice of spending time together has become more common across cultures in New Zealand. Most people find great comfort in doing so, even if at first they feel uncomfortable of the idea.

Feeling uncomfortable.

If this is the first time you or members of your family, have been around someone who has died, you might feel anxious about what it will be like, or what you should do. Many people have only seen a dead body on television or at the movies, and are worried or unsure about what the appearance of the person who has died will be like. Please ask us to explain to you beforehand what you can expect. Knowing this takes a lot of the fear of the unknown out of the situation.

Helping you to accept what has happened.

Sometimes it is hard to believe what has happened when someone dies, especially if it is a sudden or unexpected death. Seeing the person who has died can begin the process of believing that the passing is real.

The chance to say what you need to say

Bereaved people often feel overwhelmed by many intense emotions. For many, spending time with someone who has died gives them an opportunity to express some of these feelings. Others appreciate the opportunity to see the body of a person they love for the last time.

When there are visible injuries

Even when the person who has died has visible signs of injuries, spending time with their body gives some comfort to bereaved people. We at The Lychway will advise you about the extent of the injury and help you deal with this. In extreme circumstances this may mean viewing is not possible.

Where you can spend time with someone who has died

Having the body of the person who has died, at a home or on the Marae provides family and friends with an opportunity to spend time with that person before the funeral takes place. Others prefer not to have them at home, but like to spend time viewing them at our funeral home. We can arrange either of these options.

What you can do

Many families provide clothing belonging to the person who has died to be dressed in. If you want to, you can dress them yourself, or we will do it for you. You may like to find some special mementos to place in the casket or write a letter to put into it. There are many ways you can make this time with the person who has died special for you, and we will help wherever we can to make this possible.

What about children?

Spending time with someone who has died is just as important for children and teenagers as it is for adults. In many cultures children, commonly play around the open casket when somebody dies and therefore feel more comfortable about death as a result.

Younger children are usually very accepting and curious about a person who has died.  Seeing the person helps them to understand and realise that passing is final. This also makes it easier for them to cope with the death process.

What do they need to know

Older children and teenagers are often uncomfortable being with a person who has died if the adults around them seem to be uneasy.  If viewing someone who has died is a new experience for you, it is often best that you do so alone first and then bring your children in when you are ready.

It’s very important that they are well prepared, know what they will see and what is expected of them. Give them time to get used to the situation and don’t force them to do things like kissing the person if they don’t feel comfortable about doing it.  Encourage them to ask you questions that may puzzle or worry them, or seek help from The Lychway team if you don’t know all the answers. Children also often like to draw a picture or write a letter to put in the casket when they spend time with  someone who has died.

Our Unique Service

We at The Lychway are privileged to have working with us Jewel Griggs, wife of the late Colin Griggs who was a grandson of the founder of our business.

Jewel, a hairdresser for over 40 years, is available to work alongside you and your family to ensure your loved one is looking their best for the viewing.  She can help you decide what clothes to dress your loved one in, how their hair can be done and also the makeup.  As a consultant, Jewel prides herself on going the extra mile for the family.

viewing a loved one
Testimonials