September 02, 2021
Tangi rules a backwards step
A Māori funeral director says no consideration was given to cultural values in setting conditions for the latest lockdown.
Michelle Pukepuke from Haven Falls says when the country went to level four, once the funeral directors uplifted the tūpāpaku there was no opportunity for family to be with their loved one.
A change was made yesterday allowing people who were in the immediate bubble of the deceased to come into the funeral home.
She says rather than build on changes negotiated with the industry last year, the ministry reverted to its original settings.
"It's just like starting all over again. There's been no consultation. There's no one you can contact. In fact everyone we dealt with last year to get the changes it seemed weren't even in the ministry any more. There hasn't been enough consultation.. They've just put it in the same box as weddings. There's a big difference between a wedding and a tangihanga," Ms Pukepuke says.
Funeral directors have put a lot of work into showing the ministry what they could do safely, and also warning it of the damage to whānau if they were not able to grieve properly.
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