Funeral Options

burial or cremation

One of the first decisions we’ll ask you to make is whether the funeral is to be followed by burial or cremation. This is mainly because different paperwork is needed depending on your preference.

While burial is more traditional and is often chosen for cultural or religious reasons, cremation is the most popular option today (around 80% of the funerals we conduct are followed by cremation).


Burial – Most cemeteries have a variety of burial plots available and memorial options, with varying prices. It’s worth looking at all the options before making a decision on a particular plot.

Cremation – When cremation is chosen it’s usually a ‘private cremation’. This means that at the end of the service, family and friends will say their goodbyes in the chapel or at the hearse, often by placing a flower on the casket, and then we deliver the casket to the crematorium. With private cremation nobody goes to the crematorium.

The alternative to private cremation is to have a committal service. A committal means that after the main service, which has been held at another location, the funeral then processes to our chapel or another crematorium chapel where a short ceremony and final goodbyes are held. This allows families to have private time with the casket just prior to the cremation.

Over recent years, committal services have become less common largely due to the additional time taken and the inconvenience of moving to another venue and dealing with Auckland traffic.

Schnapper Rock Cremations

Schnapper Rock Cremations is our own private crematorium located at our North Harbour Chapel. Operating our own crematorium allows us to extend the care we offer families. This means that you don’t have to involve a third party in the cremation process which provides additional confidence knowing that we’re looking after this for you too.

Our cremator has a viewing room which allows families to see the casket being placed in the cremator if they wish, or observe other cultural requirements.

Ash Options

Many people struggle when it comes to deciding where to place the ashes. The more that time passes the more difficult that decision can become.

When deciding what to do there are basically three options for you to consider:


Interment is burying the ashes in a cemetery or some other special place. For some, having a special place to visit and a grave to tend can be very important.

Most cemeteries have gardens, tree plantings or lawns set aside for the interment of ashes and in most instances you may choose the plot. Most ash plots make provision for two interments and a memorial to mark the plot.


Ashes may be scattered in selected areas at the cemetery, or at another location that perhaps has special meaning for the deceased. You’re usually able to scatter ashes anywhere. However, sensitivity and common sense should be exercised (along with obtaining any permission required) if scattering in a public place, or somewhere that has cultural meaning.

When ashes have been scattered you may still wish to have a memorial of some sort. Options may include a Memorial Wall Bronze Plaque or ash plot at a cemetery.

You don’t have to have the ashes scattered or interred in the cemetery grounds to have a memorial there.

Keeping the Ashes

Ashes may be kept for a variety of reasons. A great deal of comfort may be gained from taking ashes home, and it’s completely acceptable to do this.

Ash Urns

We have a very wide range of urns to choose from. Urns come in a variety of different styles, materials, finishes and sizes. What is right for you is simply a matter of personal preference or whether you are going to keep or scatter the ashes.

View our range of urns