Mortuary services – caring for the dead

The care and respect that Paterson’s gives the person who has died begins from the time they are transferred into our care. Our funeral team are fully trained in conducting the transfer in a dignified and caring manner, whether the place of death is in a private home, hospital or more public place. This standard of care continues right through the entire process of the funeral preparations.

When you advise us of the death we will ask you whether we are able to carry out our normal preparations. At this stage we are seeking your verbal approval for us to begin embalming.

Our experienced embalmers will take care of the preparation of the person who has died. At all times the person is handled as if family members are present: with full dignity and care.

We attach a great deal of significance to the preparation for a viewing; the dressing and grooming are a very important part of this process.

The end result of mortuary care is that the person who has died is presented in a safe, clean and hygienic way.

If required Paterson’s will arrange for the repatriation of the person who has died to any other centre in New Zealand or any other country in the world. We have a modern mortuary and experienced embalmers available to meet the exacting standards required by transportation authorities. We are skilled in attending to all documentation required and proud of our high standard of service in fulfilling this need.


As part of our care and respect for a deceased person, we have developed various options to allow for ‘light embalming’, which limits the amount of chemicals used in the embalming process. We can use New Zealand–made Eco products for washing the person who has died. Alternatively we offer the choice of no embalming. There are no legal or mandatory requirements in New Zealand for embalming. We will be pleased to talk about the consequences of any choices for the funeral that you are organising and the full range of options available.

For more information on eco funerals, see www.ecofunerals.co.nz.