Your Questions Answered


Burial or Cremation?

In the first instance we at Affinity Funerals will ask whether the deceased wished to be buried or cremated.  This decision has to be made quite quickly due to the different documentation required.  The choice is yours.


A choice of cemetery will have to be made and that usually depends on the area in which you live.

A choice of plots are available please ask us and we can guide you through this part of the decision making and there is a range of options.

In Central Otago all plots are dug to a double depth to allow for further family members to buried there.

We will purchase this plot on behalf of your family to be charged at a later date.

If this is a new plot we will supply a white grave marker.  If an existing plot then we will search for the plot number and name.


Cremation is becoming more popular in New Zealand and Affinity funerals will attend to all documentation on your behalf.

In Central Otago the ashes are available to the family 48 hours after the funeral service.

The family can then decide what will happen with the ashes, maybe scattered or buried and we at Affinity Funerals have a wide range of Urns available for you to choose from.

Important information regarding cremation:

Only one cremation takes place at one time: one casket and one person are cremated. Every person is cremated in a casket – due to the nature of the cremation process all the wood completely disappears.

This means you can rest assured that the cremated ashes are only those of your loved one.


Time Together

Janice and Lynley fully understand and respect the wishes of each family and family members.  They realise the importance of spending as much time together as you can before your loved one is taken to their final resting place.

We offer our funeral homes/viewing rooms for your family to use and these are available to you from 9am till late.

Some families wish to take their loved ones home and we fully support your decision as time together assist the grieving process.

You are most welcome to leave momentoes with your loved one, maybe a poem written on the inside of the casket lid, or photos, flowers, notes or other significant momentous left in the casket with the deceased.

Children benefit from being involved with the viewing and funeral service.  Touching, seeing and being around the grieving family can be a positive experience for them and helps them to understand and accept the lose of their loved one.

Dressing & viewing

Before viewing is arranged we will ask the family to provide clothing to be worn.  We will normally dress your loved one but we at Affinity Funerals encourage you to come along and dress your loved one if you wish.  This is not for everyone however can be a rewarding experience.  We also ask that you provide undergarments.

This time is very important and must never be rushed.  Please speak with Janice or Lynley to decide which option best suits your beliefs and family.



Affinity Funerals cares and respects the deceased from the time we transfer them into our care.  We take pride in the fact that the deceased will be prepared  for viewing with dignity.

We have a professional and fully qualified team of embalmers in Central Otago and we take great care in the preparation of the person who has died.

Our state of the art mortuary is situated in Alexandra which allows us to have your loved one back in your care as soon as possible.

We are also able to repatriate the deceased to any other centre in New Zealand or country throughout the world.  We will attend to all documentation required for this service.


Please contact us to discuss this process in great depth.  We are able to offer partial embalming or you may wish that no embalming is to take place.  We will discuss this with you at the time of arranging funeral details.

Death Notices

Death Notice in Newspaper

Having a death notice in the newspaper is one way of informing family and friends of the date, time and place of the funeral service.

We are able to place these in any papers in New Zealand.

Sometimes a photo may be included.

We have a template available for you to act as a guide for what you wish to include in the newspaper death notice.

Online tributes

There are a number of on-line tributes and we can discuss this option for you.  These allow family and friends from overseas to post their memories of your loved one.


At the Service

Pall Bearers

If it is decided to have pall bearers it is advisable for the family to ask the pall bearers who will be involved. it is a great honour to be asked and is preferable to have six.

The usual custom is to carry the casket at arm’s length however you may wish to carry on the shoulders.  If you decide to carry on the shoulders there would need to be some practice involved, we will guide you through this process.

Transport to Service

Affinity Funerals have a fleet of hearses and transfer vehicles available plus we have available a processional car for family to be transported to the funeral service.

Order of Service Sheets

We at Affinity Funerals design and print these on site.

We do require photographs as soon as possible along with chosen hymns/songs and verses/prayers to be sung or said at the service.

Remembrance Books

These are available if you wish for your guests to sign as they enter the service.  You will find that the day of the service is a busy time with you not remembering a lot of the people that you met.  The Remembrance Book allows you time to reflect following the service of who attended.

Power point presentations

We have all the required equipment available for this presentation of your loved ones life.  We can scan all photographs or you may like to provide these for us to show at the service.

Recording of the entire service

We can arrange for the entire service to be recorded and we will ask you at the time of the arrangement it this is a requirement that you wish to presue.


The audio-visual presentation is a meaningful way of depicting the deceased life.

As with the order of service sheets we require the photographs that are to be used as soon as possible.


This allows friends and family that not able to attend the funerals service an option of viewing the service from afar.  It is always distressing if family or friends are unable to attend but web-casting is an alternative.


We will discuss the music of your choice when we meet to arrange your funeral details.  The music that is chosen will enhance the funeral service.  You can have the music played from CD or Ipod and we can arrange soloists, choirs etc.


Financial Arrangements

Assistance for Compassionate Air-fares

Please discuss this with us and we will arrange for appropriate paper work to be completed and forwarded to family members who have travelled from overseas at short notice to attend the funeral service.  There are strict criteria regarding the refund of airfares.


The payment of the account is a worry to families and if you wish we can arrange an estimate of costs associated with the funeral service.

We will send the account out to you usually 10 days following the funeral service and payment would be appreciated as soon as possible.

We will discuss at the time of arranging the funeral details any assistance that you may require e.g. Work & Income and ACC.


Grief Counselling

Janice and Lynley understand that at this time of great loss not all family members cope with grief in the same way.  We offer a range of qualified counsellors for you to contact and discuss your personal loss.


Monumental Masonry Tributes

Affinity Funerals can meet with you to discuss and arrange a granite headstone/plaque, brass, bronze and Returned Services plaques. We also offer cleaning and additional inscriptions to be placed on your loved ones grave side.


Death Certificates

We will apply to Births Deaths and Marriages for the Death Certificate and you can expect this important document back to you within 14 working days.