Arranging A Funeral

It is one of the simplest and most organised ways to ensure your funeral wishes are carried out.

Burial or Cremation?

One of the first questions you will need to consider will be, did the deceased wish to be buried or cremated?

Burial: A burial will involve the purchase of a plot from the local council authority, and an interment fee to cover the cost of preparing the grave. Howard & Gannon Funerals can make these arrangements on your behalf. New Zealand law requires that all burials are in officially designated cemeteries or urupa.

Cremation: A cremation offers more options when choosing a final resting place. Ashes can be kept at home, interred in a cemetery, or scattered at a favourite place, like a bush area, garden, or at sea. If cremation is chosen, please give some thought to what will happen with the ashes.

Choosing a Venue

We encourage you to talk about venue ideas with us. We know all the local venues and the facilities they provide.

Sugar Loaf Chapel is conveniently located in Taradale, on the corner of Lee Road and Gloucester Street. Our chapel provides all the comforts of a modern facility and includes a refreshment lounge.

See our facilities

Casket Selection

In our casket selection room, we offer a range of 16 different caskets for families to choose from. Caskets come in a variety of different styles, materials and finishes. Traditional, natural timbers, coloured, themed and eco-friendly options are available.

Floral Tribute

Floral arrangements are popular as a visual expression of affection and sympathy. Howard & Gannon Funerals can help organise your floral requirements, or you can choose your own florist of preference.


Howard & Gannon Funerals can organise refreshments to follow the funeral service, either in our reception lounge at Sugar Loaf Chapel, or at another venue.


Howard & Gannon Funerals offer a fleet of vehicles to suit all types of people and personalities.

Contact Us For All Hearse Options

Other Important


Service Recording

We can arrange for a professional video recording of the funeral service at our chapel or at other venues.


Minister or Celebrant?

Often clergy or a celebrant lead a funeral service. Howard & Gannon Funerals are able to provide a funeral celebrant for the family.


Casket Bearers

Six pallbearers are required when the casket is to be carried out of the funeral service, and at the graveside or crematorium. People are honoured to assist in this role, and it is easiest if those chosen are asked prior to the service, so they are prepared.


Service Sheets

Many services today include a printed service sheet outlining the format of the service. They may include words to songs, hymns, readings or poems. A photo of your loved one is usually on the cover of the service sheet to provide a lasting memorial. Howard & Gannon Funerals are able to create personalised, designed service sheets.



Music can often express our emotions and feelings in a way that our own words cannot. As a medium for the act of remembrance, music can have a powerful effect on those present at the funeral service. Howard & Gannon Funerals have an extensive database of songs. We suggest you listen to the lyrics carefully prior to choosing to ensure that they convey an appropriate message.


Memorial Books

A memorial book can be provided for family and friends to acknowledge their presence at the funeral by writing a tribute, or to give condolences to the family.


Newspaper Notice

We can guide you through the wording of a funeral notice for the newspaper, and can insert on your behalf, to any newspaper in New Zealand.



Your loved one may have left directions about the clothing they would like to be dressed in, if not you will have to consider what you would like your loved one to wear. This could be anything from formal attire, to their gardening clothes. Remember to include all under garments.

I would just like to convey my appreciation for the magnificent job you did with Dad's funeral. Through your professionalism, poise and grace you made the most difficult of tasks a little easier. You showed infinite patience with family members as well as myself (especially me) during the process.
Needless to say I am one of your biggest fans (I know, just one of the many). On talking to people at and after the funeral I have been singing your praises with the incredible job you did starting from the consultation process through to the catering. In actual fact I had people coming up to me to say "that's the best funeral they had been to" (if there is such a thing?). In closing I'd just like to say a very big Thank You. NT

"Thank you very much for the kindness you showed to myself and my sister when our mum died in June. We appreciated your professionalism and the way nothing was a problem to you. Kind regards and keep on with what you do so well."

"You couldn’t be more thoughtful, and I couldn’t be more grateful. The words say it all - you are an awesome team. Everything you did for us was faultless."

"Thank you for your support and everything you have done for us through a ‘somewhat challenging time’. Your professionalism, honesty, and your wonderful kindness was very much appreciated by us, and simply just being there for us is just what we needed."

"At a time of hurt and pain, I was professionally assisted and advised with real compassion by all of your staff. Howard & Gannon is a 21st century funeral parlour operated by loving and caring people."

Jk Vm Rc Jl Bc