28 FEBRUARY 2022

NZ Post reminds Kiwis not to send ashes through its mail or parcel network

NZ Post is reminding Kiwis not to send human or animal ashes through its network as it sees an increase in attempts.

“We have seen more and more cases of this over the past couple of years and need to remind Kiwis human or animal remains are prohibited items and can’t be sent through our mail or our courier network,” NZ Post Chief Operating Officer Brendon Main says.

“Maybe the increase is due to people not being able to farewell loved ones in person or travel to funerals under COVID-19 restrictions, but sending ashes is strictly prohibited for a number of reasons.”

Main said if an item containing ashes was lost, stolen or damage during delivery it could cause a highly emotive situation – for both the sender and NZ Post staff.

“If a package containing ashes ripped open it could cause issues for our people from a cultural perspective and an emotional one.”

Main said if people wanted to send human or pet ashes, they would need to contact a current member of the Funeral Directors’ Association of New Zealand.

“There are certain criteria that must be adhered to get an exemption to ensure ashes can be sent through our network safely and the Funeral Directors’ Association of New Zealand can help with that.”

Funeral Directors Association Chief Executive Gillian Boyes confirmed its members can assist with sending ashes.

“Our members can arrange for remains to be safely and respectfully transported in accordance with the criteria so that loved ones can be reunited,” she said.

Main said the number items that can’t be sent through NZ Post’s network might surprise people.

“Items such as magnets, batteries, perfume, nail polish, fish, blood, fireworks, first aid kits, lighters and even birthday cakes can’t be sent.”

With nearly 87 million parcels being sent last year, dealing with prohibited items can sometimes be time consuming and dangerous for NZ Post staff.

“Safety within our network is key and we encourage all customers to check first before sending items.”

A specialised service can be set up for businesses who need to send prohibited items by setting up a business account with NZ Post.

To view a list of prohibited items visit nzpost.co.nz

Contact our Customer Care Centre online for more information, or ask one of our retailers before sending items.

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