At Harding’s we believe that the funeral service is a critically important event following any death. It’s a time to gather together, to remember and celebrate. However, what this event actually looks like will vary greatly from person to person. From a small and intimate farewell, to a large and highly personalised celebration, we believe we have the expertise and experience to deliver any type of funeral service.

When planning a funeral there are no real rules to follow and only a few legal requirements, so the possibilities are endless: you are limited only by time and imagination.

Guiding you through every step of the way

A rough outline that with our team will move towards a smooth final farewell.

Contact family members

This is important. Our family and friends are the support we need when times are hard. When people live out of town, informing them early of a loved ones death allows them the time to make preparations to attend the funeral and potentially assist with funeral arrangements as well.

Contact the attending doctor

A doctor is responsible for issuing the medical causes of death certificate. This certificate is needed before a burial or cremation can take place. In some instances a coroner might be involved when a doctor cannot sign the forms. The team at Hardings can assist you through this process.

Phone Hardings Funerals

There can be a lot of questions you and your family have. Kelly and the Hardings team can help answer those questions. We can work with you to transfer the family member into our care and assist you in arranging a dignified farewell for your loved one. Call us on 06 278 8633, 24/7

Transferring into our care

The team at Hardings will work with you to make a time to transfer your loved one into our care from where they have died. We will talk with the appropriate people such as doctors or nurses to ensure that all paperwork is completed so the transfer is done correctly and in a timely manner.
This will be the same for hospitals, rest homes, and private residences.

Make decisions together

It may not seem like it but planning a funeral can be a positive experience. At our initial meeting, we can detail all available services and arrangements. Following this, you will have the liberty to select which services you will need. We are fully equipped to accommodate your preferences without any issue.

Let us take care of everything

From the initial meeting through to the funeral, our team will oversee each detail. We handle administrative tasks, legal requirements and all paperwork, thus alleviating the burden from your shoulders.

The final farewell

Our commitment is to shoulder the burdensome tasks, allowing you the space and peace of mind to commemorate and celebrate the life of your beloved in a dignified and heartfelt manner. Our experience allows us to offer support to you when navigating ceremonial intricacies with grace and dignity. This allows your loved one to be honoured in a manner that holds significance and reverence.

My Trove

myTrove are a private company working closely with government agencies and private sector organisations to provide myTrove Notify as a single place for people to be able to notify multiple organisations of a death and start the account closure process with each notified organisation. This is a free service and for more information please talk to us.

A personalised funeral

Everyone deserves a funeral that reflects the life they have lived. That is why funerals come in all shapes and sizes. Simple with no fuss to a huge and inclusive celebration with everything in between.

Hardings Funerals are the leaders in bespoke funerals both at their chapel and a venue of your choice.

Funerals are a space to not just tell stories but embrace memories. This is why Hardings help you create a bespoke funeral that celebrates your loved one's life the way that lived it so the memories will continue to live on in your head and heart.

Hosting at our premises

Our home is your home. Where you have a funeral is completely up to you. You might want a small private service at home, or our place where we have a small chapel for up to 50 people with live stream capability.

Hosting Off-Site

You may want a farewell on the beach, the family farm, at a place special to you, or you may want a huge celebration. You choose a place and we will make it happen. We have good relationships with several venues in the South Taranaki District, and can help you create an event for a funeral that is appropriate to your needs.

Personalising Options

Hardings are committed to helping you create a personal atmosphere that reflects your loved one. There is no limit to the ways in which a person can be remembered – we are here to help you find ways to honour and remember your loved one’s life and times. Our team are experienced at creating touching photographic and video tributes as well as service sheets, memorial books, and music tributes.

A profound tribute that has lasted since many many years past, flowers offer a heartfelt tribute when it is appropriate. Hardings will work with the florist of your choice, or help you with incorporating ideas that are creative yet modest in cost. Floral tributes can range from elegant traditional arrangements or, something more contemporary and thematic.
Maybe it is native Punga, or traditional red roses, the choice will always be yours.
Service sheets are a momento that many families opt to have. They perform a functional service by incorporating the words to a hymn, or the order in which a ceremony is given. We have different sizes and presentations available so please talk to your funeral director.
Hardings Memorial Books are highly personalised to the person the funeral is for. A first draft is created within the first few days of the funeral process. Once the draft has been approved, the final copy is bound into a black linen book along with the signatures of the attendees from the funeral. Additional books are available for purchase upon request.
This option is available via our website. We highly recommend sourcing this service to a provider available to us, however if you do prefer a more modest option, Hardings Funerals will perform this service. See our pricelist for up to date information.
Newspaper notices are still a common way of letting extended family and friends know when and where the funeral will take place. We can insert these throughout New Zealand on your behalf. You can choose to include photos and graphics with the notice in some papers. There is also the provision each publication will be presented online through our website, the FDANZ website (if being livestreamed), and the website connected to the newspaper publication of choice.

Below is a basic format for a notice, but naturally this can vary:
SMITH John William. (Regt No or ex RNZN).
On 25 January 2019, Peacefully at Somewhere Hospital, in his 82nd year.
Dearly loved husband of …
Loved and respected father and father in law of…
Much loved Grandfather of…
Loved Son and Son in Law of …
Loved Brother and Brother in Law of …
Loved Uncle of …
Personal message from family e.g. forever in our hearts
All communications to the Smith family C/- PO Box 605, Hawera 4640. (We recommend that for security reasons families use a post office box number for communications).
A service to celebrate John’s life will be held at Hardings Funeral Chapel, Regent Street Hawera, on Tuesday 31 January 2024 at 11.00am, followed by a private cremation.

What a wonderful way to spark memories and personalise a funeral. From fishing lines to patchwork quilts, creating and displaying cherished belongings, photos, and pieces of craft work will create a level of personalisation that gives a poignant essence of life to a funeral. It will evoke memories, bring comfort and foster a sense of connection among people attending the funeral.
At a funeral, loved ones often share memories and feelings about the deceased. Crafting a eulogy can begin by recalling significant stories or providing a chronological overview of the person's life, including their background, education, career, relationships, interests, and memorable moments. Capturing the essence of the person involves noting down thoughts and memories while categorizing them for a structured narrative. Encouraging input from family and friends adds depth to the tribute. Longer eulogies should be written and rehearsed to maintain focus, especially if emotions run high. Multiple speakers should highlight their unique connection to the departed, sharing personal anecdotes or experiences that illustrate their relationship. The aim is to create a cohesive and memorable tribute that honors the individual's life.

Commonly asked questions

We've put together some questions that people commonly ask themselves during these hard moments, and we're here with warm, heartfelt answers just for you.

A formal notification these days can be as simple as a phone call. Phone your solicitor and they will begin the process of guiding you through the next stages.
If you do not have a solicitor, begin with the doctor, bank, WINZ, and any insurances.

Hardings Funerals belong to two associations in New Zealand that work with other funeral homes to assist in bringing your loved one home. FDANZ and Funeral Link. Hardings are experienced in repatriation from all over the world, and will help you with this easily.
A committal choice is personal to everyone. For Hardings Funerals, it is simply which way the hearse turns after the funeral. Because the paperwork from a doctor is different between burial and cremation, this usually is a decision that is known in advance of a death.
A direct cremation is exactly what it sounds like. The cremation takes place directly following the death without any funeral service or other ceremony being held. In these situations, we collect the deceased from where they have died, provide a casket, complete the required paperwork, register the death and organise the cremation.
Our experience tells us that having no funeral service is not always as straightforward a decision as it might seem. Before locking in the choice to have a direct cremation we would recommend that everyone affected by this decision is considered and, if possible, involved in the process.

Options do exist to have something less than a funeral service but more than a direct cremation. For example, the funeral service could be made private so that it remains small and intimate and only those personally invited attend, or you might decide to have a small viewing before the cremation takes place and use this as a time to say goodbye, or a memorial service might be held after the direct cremation has occurred at some later time.
Embalming is a medical process which disinfects and preserves a dead human body making it safe for those coming into contact with it. Embalming presents the deceased in the best way possible and allows people to view and say goodbye to a person without the unpleasant conditions that arise from decomposition.

We believe embalming is the best method of keeping the deceased in a presentable state from the time of death till burial or cremation. It is standard practice for most of the funerals we hold and the cultural practice in New Zealand. However, if the person is not to be viewed, you may wish to not have them embalmed. We will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

We keep up to date with advances in the art of embalming and ensure that our practice is current with the standards set by the New Zealand Embalmers Association (NZEA). At all times we ensure that your loved one is treated with respect and dignity.
Once a loved one dies, spending time with them, either by yourself or with family is important.

You will need to consider if this is to be at the funeral home, or at a family member’s home. Once someone dies, your relationship with that person alters. Spending time with them will help you to begin to understand and adjust to that altered relationship. Time with the deceased prior to the funeral ceremony are precious moments, as there are only a few days in which you can be physically present with your loved one. Being with the deceased is also a time of remembrance and allows you and your family to recall the memories of life together.
There are four main parts to a funeral.
1. The registration detail. It is good to know your family history here.
2. What does the funeral look like? This is where a number of key decisions will be required so that we may personalise our service to you. Remember to have everyone needed for these decisions for inclusivity.
3. The newspaper notice and how it will be worded.
4. Any relevant paperwork that will need signing by the appropriate person such as a direct next of kin, spouse or executor.
Viewing is usually arranged for a time that is mutually acceptable for family and for Hardings. You do not need to prep anything in particular, but being prepared for your emotions can help.
Remember that momentos can help personalise and bring comfort so feel welcome at Hardings to bring those along.
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:

Inter the ashes- 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 to people.

Scatter the ashes – Ashes may be scattered at a location that perhaps has special meaning for the deceased. You are usually able to scatter ashes in most areas. 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.

Keep 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 is completely acceptable to do this. There are plenty of urn options available at Hardings, or we are able to quickly obtain an urn of your choice from our suppliers.
Jewellery can also be ordered in a variety of ways, whether a diamond, ashes blown into glass beads, or kept in a jewellery vial, the choices are endless. Talk to your funeral director about the options that appeal to you.