Registering the death
Obtaining a death certificate
A New Zealand Death Certificate is a legal document that proves someone has died. You will need a death certificate if you’re administering your loved one’s estate or applying for a funeral grant from Work and Income or ACC.
How to apply for a death certificate
Births, Deaths and Marriages at the Department of Internal Affairs must be notified of your loved one’s death within three working days of their burial or cremation.
We take care of notifying Births, Deaths and Marriages. We use the information we gathered from you at the funeral planning meeting, to complete the ‘Notification of Death for Registration’.
It will take 7-10 working days for you to receive the New Zealand Death Certificate. You will need this death certificate to administer your loved one’s estate, to apply for grants, to close bank accounts, and for other death related admin.
The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death completed by the doctor when they certified your loved one’s death is not the New Zealand Death Certificate. However, confusion can arise, because doctors, nurses, and palliative care staff often refer to this form as a death certificate.