Official Guidelines for Tangihanga

covid-19 – Kua rahui te motu

30 March 2020
Tangihanga – a need to adapt our practises during this extraordinary time.

Bereaved families and whānau from all cultures and backgrounds will find this time challenging. This makes it even more important that we show each other kindness and caring, manaakitanga and aroha.

Already, iwi and hapū have been adapting tikanga and kawa to keep our people safe. This has also extended to tangihanga.

There are now strict rules put in place during Alert Level 4 for when loved ones have passed away. These rules apply to everyone, every culture, every religion.

We support the advice and guidelines shared by Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā (The National Māori Pandemic Group) on tikanga, hui and tangihanga for Alert Level 4 – this means no formal tangihanga until further notice. For Māori this means:
• no public funeral services whatsoever
• no tangihanga at our marae, funeral homes, churches and other venues
• no private whānau tangihanga at home.

Because COVID-19 is now in the community and public gatherings put all our whānau members at risk, especially our kaumātua. Therefore, we must protect people’s health and ensure our health system can look after New Zealanders who become sick.

What are your options?
• Immediate burial of tūpāpaku (deceased whānau member) at the urupā (graveyard).
• Cremation and a delayed process for the burial of ashes once we recover.

This approach will reduce contact spread of COVID-19 to our kaumātua and our at-risk whānau members. It is the best way to keep our communities safe.

We are regularly updating our advice and guidelines to be accurate, relevant to whānau and responsive to the changes in our situation.

We will issue further guidelines for whānau on what to do during Alert Levels 3, 2 and 1 over the coming weeks. It’s important to remember that once we come out of Alert Level 4, COVID-19 is still a real threat and we will need to remain vigilant.

Alert Level 4 – kua rāhui te motu: Official guidelines for tangihanga
What to do when someone dies

Appoint a whānau member to potentially liaise with funeral directors, health providers and/or police.

To read the full guidelines, click here.

Visit the Ministry of Health Website here for more information, click here.