6 Jun 2013

Cremation becoming more acceptable, says kaumatua

7:42 am on 6 June 2013

A Waikato kaumatua says there is a cultural shift from burial to cremation.

A Maori funeral director in west Auckland, Francis Tipene, says he is seeing more and more bereaved whanau choosing cremation over burial because it is a less expensive option.

A Ngati Hikairo kaumatua in Waikato, Jack Cunningham, says cremation is starting to become acceptable amongst some Maori families, which for many, has been against their customary beliefs.

Mr Cunningham says bereaved families should not have to shoulder the huge financial burden when their loved ones die.

For whanau living overseas, he says, it is more more practical to bring back ashes than pay thousands of dollars to repatriate a body.