Find an FDANZ Funeral Director

Code of ethics and conduct

Code of Ethics

Members of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand and the individual funeral directors on its register recognise the responsibilities entrusted to them in their relationships with:

(a)               the bereaved they serve;

(b)               the public at large;

(c)               the profession of which they are a part.

Specifically, they have agreed:

1.    To accept as a duty the maintenance of truth, accuracy, dignity and good taste;

2.    To maintain in all matters the highest standard of business, professional and personal conduct;

3.    To respect in all circumstances the confidentially and trust placed in them by reason of their function and calling;

4.    To preserve within the bounds of dignity, good taste, and practicality, the right of personal choice and decision-making for the families they serve, and due regard for the ethnic origin and spiritual beliefs of the deceased person;

5.    To maintain qualified and competent personnel with facilities and equipment adequate to provide a comprehensive funeral service;

6.    To provide accurate information concerning the range of services and merchandise available, the prices of the same, and the functions and responsibilities accepted on behalf of their clients.

7.     To not be associated with by major shareholding or controlling influence, other funeral services firms/businesses which breach the Funeral Directors Association NZ Code of Conduct and/or Code of Conduct.

8.     To not resign Funeral Directors Association NZ membership in the middle of a dispute and or complaint. In the event a Member does terminate membership during a complaints process, Funeral Directors Association NZ will support the complainant to address concerns which are considered relevant.


Code of Professional Conduct

Minimum standard of service offered by a Member of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (Inc.), and by those whose names are entered in the Association’s Register of Funeral Directors.

Standard of conduct

1.    In dealings with a client, Member firms and funeral directors will do everything in their power to ensure a standard of conduct beyond reproach or criticism.

2.    Confidentiality will be preserved at all times and furthermore the details and/or circumstances regarding the deceased or the estate of the deceased will not be divulged except as required by law.

3.    All funeral directors will be thoroughly conversant with and abide completely with the laws of the land as they apply to funerals and to allied industries and professions.

4.    Funeral directors will always deal fairly and honestly and will not intentionally injure the professional reputation or practice of another funeral director whether a member or not.


1.    Members must meet minimum requirements in relation to the facilities they offer. These include:

1.    Mortuary or holding room

2.    Viewing room

3.    Office/interview room

4.    Work/storage area

5.    Hearse

2.    Facilities offered by Member firms are subject to the Association’s three yearly inspection.


1.    Transfers of human remains will be carried out with due care and in a manner which is acceptable to maintain a standard of decency and hygiene.

2.    All monies, documents, jewellery or personal property accompanying the deceased shall be properly recorded.

3.    Transportation to the church, crematorium, cemetery or any other place will be done in a manner that befits the occasion and does credit to the profession. Funeral personnel will be dressed in a manner that does not detract from the dignity of their profession.

Police transfers

1.    Where a transfer to a mortuary is performed at the request of an outside agency, the funeral director will await further instructions and will not in any way make the first approach to the deceased’s next of kin.

Mortuary services and embalming

1.    All human remains shall be prepared to ensure an acceptable and safe standard of hygiene.

2.    The funeral director should ensure that the client family’s permission to embalm has been received.

3.    Where in such instance the act of embalming is expressly declined during the funeral arrangements, then the funeral director will for their own protection obtain a signed indemnity statement to that effect.

4.    Whenever casketed remains are to be transported any distance by another agency, arterial and cavity embalming should be carried out before the commencement of the journey.

5.    The human remains and the casket will be so prepared to ensure that any liquid or gaseous products of decomposition will not escape or cause distress.

The casket

1.    The casket will be so prepared that it could be opened at any time for inspection or viewing, the only exception to this rule will be when the law, cause, or mode of death makes it illegal or unwise to do so.

2.    Other than when required by religious orders, or at the specific request of a client, the internal furnishings of a casket will consist of at least a full-length waterproof liner, side drapes, and a pillow or cushion.


1.    Members’ advertisements will be dignified and in good taste.

2.    Any third-party endorsement must be authentic and specifically approved by that third party.

Funeral Directors Association NZ membership

1.    In the best interests of everyone, Members and registered funeral directors will be loyal to the Association, its aims and objectives; be active in its work, make every effort to assist the development and progress of the profession, and willingly share within the Association the benefits of their experience, and conduct their business so as to avoid controversy.

2.    When a Member or funeral director is charged with unethical practices, or actions prejudicial to the good reputation of the Association, that Member or funeral director will place all pertinent facts before the Board of the Association in writing for investigation and decision.

3.    Members and registered funeral directors will participate in continuing education. 

Prepaid funeral plans

1.    All Members’ prepaid funeral monies must be held:

1.    in the Funeral Directors Association NZ Family Bereavement Plan; or

2.    in the Funeral Directors Association NZ Funeral Trust; or

3.    by a Trustee Corporation (as defined in the Trustee Act 1956 and amendments); or

4.    in a Trust Account which meets the requirements of all relevant legislation and has been approved by the Funeral Directors Association NZ Board.

2.    Members shall comply with all relevant legislation and regulations.

Crematorium operation

1.    Member firms having control or management of a crematorium must:

1.    comply with relevant legislation;

2.    have in place a set of protocols and procedures for the operation of the cremator;

3.    control who may attend cremations and the conduct of persons attending such cremations;

4.    keep a register of Applications for Cremation;

5.    have in place a Policy regarding the storage and disposal of ashes.

Storage and return of ashes

1.    Member firms will maintain a register for the collection, storage and return of ashes.

2.    The firm’s policy regarding the storage of ashes will be clearly conveyed to client families at the arrangement interview. 


1.    Members shall make available a written estimate of all funeral charges and disbursements to be made on a client’s behalf at the time of taking instructions, or as soon as is practicable thereafter.

2.    Members should provide a written agreement setting out the contractual obligations of both parties at the time of taking instructions, or as soon as practicable thereafter.