Cremation gaining popularity in New Zealand due to affordability and cultural shifts


The practice of cremation is becoming the standard choice for many Kiwis and for good reason. Cremation has been overtaking traditional burials in many countries due to its countless comparative benefits. This rising trend can be attributed to a combination of factors, namely the affordability, changing cultural biases and a growing emphasis on environmental considerations. 

Why is cremation considered preferable?

Cremation is much more preferable to burial for a few reasons. The main reason being the affordability, as cremations can be as low as 525 NZD through council owned crematoriums. Compare this figure to the quoted burial average of 10,000 NZD and it’s easy to see why many New Zealanders would be in favour of this. 

Cremation and its following accessories such as cremation urns, scattering tubes and cremation jewellery are also priced much more favourably when compared to traditional burial costs. With all costs considered, it is entirely feasible to provide an end of life service for about one tenth the cost of a traditional burial. 

Cremations are also more flexible in terms of what one can do with their final goodbyes. Burials are limited as once the ceremony is over, all you have left is a grave to visit. With cremation, many have taken to scattering the ashes in their loved ones favourite place in life. Others prefer to keep the ashes in an urn or have them put in cremation jewellery. Cremation jewellery are pieces of jewellery designed to hold a small amount of ashes of the deceased. This allows one to carry their loved ones with them every day. There are even some highly creative options such as putting the ashes in tattoo ink for a sense of permanency, or having the ashes smelted into beautifully unique glasswork. Options like these are not so available for traditional burials.

When it comes to the grieving process, cremation may also have some strong benefits. Urns are growing in demand due to the rise of popularity of cremations for New Zealanders. Urns are great for grief as they provide people a place to remember their loved ones, and allow one to grieve them in the comfort of their own home. Travelling to a cemetery plot can now be a thing of the past. 

Changing cultural beliefs

The country of New Zealand has always been an open country with many migrants making their way in to live and work happily. With more and more people of varying different cultures, beliefs, religions and languages, the cultural melting pot that is New Zealand has shifted throughout the years. This has been attributed to the rise of cremation popularity as an end of life choice for many Kiwis as their culture has shifted away from traditional burials. 

Another big reason as to why cremations are more preferred in New Zealand’s modern cultural sphere is due to its ecological benefits. Cremation is a much more greener practice than burials as it does not take up valuable land space in perpetuity. It requires fewer natural resources to conduct compared to a traditional land burial so is the perfect option for the ecologically minded Kiwi. 

According to the Cremation Society, New Zealand has a cremation rate of 78%. While there is still certainly a place for traditional burials, cremations are becoming the standard choice for many of the above reasons. 

The vast benefits of cremation in comparison to traditional burials makes it easy to see why it has become so popular in New Zealand. From its economical advantages to its great eco-friendliness, cremation is quickly becoming the standard option for end of life care.