First Steps

Transfer to our care

Once we have been notified of a death, we will arrange for the transfer of the deceased to our premises where we will care for them as necessary.

If someone is to return to the family home or marae, it is essential we have an opportunity to prepare the body to ensure the viewing experience is pleasant and dignified for all.

If the funeral arrangements include a rosary at a church or a family home, we will arrange for the transfer. You can decide if the casket is to remain open for this time or whether it will be closed.

We encourage you to discuss with us where your loved one will rest before the funeral. This can be at a home, on a marae, at our premises or somewhere else of your choice.

If someone dies elsewhere in New Zealand, we can arrange for them to be brought home. Arrangements can also be made to bring home New Zealanders who die while overseas or to repatriate to another country someone who dies while in New Zealand.

Gillions Funeral Services has the expertise, experience and resources to bring the deceased home in a dignified and timely manner. Our experienced staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.


Across the country

Sometimes a death occurs when a person is away from home. Depending on the circumstances, the family usually wishes to have the deceased returned home for the funeral.

Gillions Funeral Services is part of a network of funeral service providers operating throughout New Zealand. This enables us to assist with repatriations from or to any locality. Within New Zealand this usually takes 2–4 days.

Talk to us and we will work with our networks to provide whatever services may be required.

Around the world

A death overseas requires coordination and adherence to numerous national and international laws, airline regulations and local customs.

We will liaise directly with embassies, consulates, travel insurers and customs agents on your behalf to bring your loved one home promptly and efficiently. Typically, an overseas repatriation from New Zealand takes 6–14 days, depending on circumstances and destination.

When repatriating from an overseas location to New Zealand, the process is affected by the regulations of that country. A time frame for this will need to be assessed after liaising with the parties involved.


Appearances are Important – Even After Death

You will be asked to provide clothing for your loved one. Ideally, this includes a full set of underclothes and outerwear. This can be a suit, dress, casual clothing, nightwear, sporting uniform or clothing that the deceased was happy wearing and which represents their personality.

Glasses and dentures should also be supplied if they were usually worn. You are welcome to dress or assist with dressing if you wish to.

A decision also needs to be made about what is to happen to any jewellery the deceased was wearing when they died. Care should be taken to check for any instructions about jewellery in the deceased’s will, in case there are specific bequests.

Important documents

There are several documents that can make the arranging of a farewell easier.

The copy of the most current Will can give guidance on what should happen. Copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates can also make the process of obtaining the information for death registrations easier and correct.

It can also be beneficial to find bank details, as in some cases notifying the bank(s) as early as possible can put a stop on the account and prevent unnecessary automatic payments being make.

Rest if you can

You may be exhausted and drained especially if your loved one has been ill for some time and you have been spending time at their side. The funeral process is exhausting in itself, so we will understand if you need to spend a bit of time recharging before making all the arrangements.