October 15, 2021
Tangihanga travel rules a lottery
A Māori funeral director says exemptions to cross the Auckland boundary for tangihanga are being handed out in an arbitrary and non-transparent way.
Michelle Pukepuke from Haven Falls Funeral Home says until a couple of weeks ago more than 90 percent of requests were being declined, and while that’s improving, it’s still not clear why some get granted and others declined.
Funeral directors have no say and can only provide whānau with as much information as they can and guide them through the online application process.
“Then it goes through cyberspace online and someone at the other end is making the decision but based on what, we have no idea. We have had families that got through the first time and we’ve had other families up to their fourth attempt and still being declined. We can’t see a difference but obviously they can,” Ms Pukepuke says.
She says the rules are creating despair for whānau, and funeral directors do what they can to make a poor process better.