Version as at 6 November 2021

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Burial and Cremation Act 1964

Public Act
1964 No 75
Date of assent
18 November 1964
see section 1(2)

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Health.


1Short Title and commencement
3Act not to apply to Maori burial grounds
4Local authorities to provide cemeteries
5Functions of local authorities
6Cemetery to be open to public
7Name of cemetery
8Management of cemetery
9Powers as to vaults, monuments, etc
10Exclusive right of burial, etc
11Portions for different denominations
12Sections may be marked off and consecrated
13Rights of minister of religion, etc
15Burial of members of Her Majesty’s Forces, etc
17Copies of bylaws
18Receipts and expenditure
19Appointment of officers
20Clearance of disused cemeteries
21Restrictions on alienation
22Application of this Part
23Appointment and removal of trustees
24Governor-General may delegate powers
25Functions of trustees
26Proceedings of trustees
27Property to vest in trustees
29Accounting records must be kept
29AFinancial statements
30Bylaws made by trustees
31Dedication of denominational burial grounds
32Managers of denominational burial grounds
33Private burial grounds
34Trustees of private burial grounds
35Trustees may hold endowments for maintenance of burial ground, etc
36Application of Act to burial grounds
37Regulations as to cremation
38Erection of crematoria
39Application of Act in respect of crematoria
40Crematorium bylaws
41Minister may close cemeteries and burial grounds
42Saving of rights
43Closed cemeteries
44Closed burial grounds
45Clearance of closed cemeteries and closed burial grounds
45AMinister may reopen closed cemeteries and burial grounds
45BControl and management of reopened cemeteries and burial grounds
45CVesting of title in reopened cemeteries and burial grounds
45DCrematoria situated within reopened cemeteries or burial grounds
46Unlawful burials
46AACertificate of cause of death or coroner’s authorisation required before body disposed of
46AStillborn children
46BCertificate of cause of death in relation to illness
46CCertificate of cause of death in relation to accidents to persons aged 70 years or more
46CACertificate of cause of death in relation to assisted dying
46DNo liability for costs incurred in supplying information
46EBodies to be disposed of within reasonable time
46FTransfer of charge of body
47Burial in private burial place
48Burial in special place
49Burial and cremation of poor persons
50Burials to be registered
51Removal of body
52Inspection of cemeteries
53Vesting of title in certain cases
54AAOffences concerning certificate of cause of death or certificate relating to stillbirth
54Offences concerning burials
55Unlawful exhumation
56Offences concerning cremation
57Trespass by animals
58Offences punishable on summary conviction [Repealed]
61Repeals and savings

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the burial and cremation of the dead