Ashes

Find out what happens to ashes after a cremation and where you can scatter ashes in Wellington.

Collecting ashes

Ashes can be collected 24 hours after the cremation.

Special arrangements can be made for collecting ashes earlier, but additional costs may apply.

Ashes can only be collected by the funeral director or the person who arranged the cremation.

They can either:

  • collect the remains within 5 working days
  • arrange an attended or unattended ash iburial
  • arrange an attended or unattended ash scattering.

Scattering ashes

The only approved public place where you can scatter ashes is Willowbank Park. 

Places you can’t scatter ashes

  • The sea, because scattering ashes is tapu in areas where kaimoana (seafood) is gathered is not culturally acceptable
  • Areas of cultural or heritage significance, for example, Māori heritage sites
  • High public use sites, for example, sports fields and botanic gardens - including the Rose Garden at the Botanic Garden
  • Sites that have plans for extensive upgrades, renovations or excavations
  • Unsafe sites, for example steep hillsides.

In cemetery grounds

In cemetery grounds, you can either have an unattended or attended scattering.

At Karori Cemetery there are designated areas for scattering ashes. Contact the Cemetery to find out where you can do this.

Email: cemeteries@wcc.govt.nz
Phone: 04 476 6109

Type of ash scattering  

Attended scattering

Unattended scattering

Burial of ashes

Help and support

If you need help, support or more information, contact the Cemeteries team.

Email: cemeteries@wcc.govt.nz
Phone: 04 476 6109