​It is illegal to remove any body (or the remains of any body) buried in any burial ground without a disinterment licence from the local District Health Board.

After you have a disinterment licence from the local District Health Board, you will also need to apply to Council to have the disinterment undertaken. 

Please be aware that there will be a fee from the District Health Board, for the disinterment licence, and also from Council to have the disinterment itself undertaken. These costs can be significant due to the level of regulation surrounding disinterments which often involve additional time and staff.

Council's fee to carry out the disinterment can be found at Cemeteries Fees and Charges.
For the disinterment licence fee, please contact the local District Health Board using the contacts provided below.


1. Contact your local District Health Board for an Application for Disinterment Licence form.

The Ruapehu District falls under two different District Health Boards depending on where the cemetery is located. See below for which District Health Board should be contacted for the various cemeteries in the Ruapehu District.

​CemeteryDistrict Health Board​​Contact Details

​Mid-Central District Health Board/Whanganui Office

​Public Health Centre
Private Bag 3003
Whanganui 4540

Phone: (06) 348 1775

​Waikato District Health Board

Population Health Services
Waikato District Health Board
Private Bag 3200
Hamilton 3240

Phone: (07) 838 2569

Further contact details for the various District Health Boards can be found on the Ministry of Health Website.

Applications must be in writing and are usually made by:

  • Person(s) related to the deceased;
  • the executor of the will of the deceased;
  • a funeral director acting on behalf of either of the above;
  • an iwi/Mäori authority acting on behalf of the close relatives; or
  • a person acting for the family.

2. Submit the form to the District Health Board .

  • Address the application to the 'Health Protection Officer'.
  • The Health Protection Officer will assess the application and forward it, together with a report and recommendations, to the Ministry of Health, Wellington.
  • If the proposed disinterment is urgent, details of the disinterment may be e-mailed or faxed. Contact the relevant District Health Board to discuss this prior to sending.


Following approval from the District Health Board an application for a disinterment warrant can be made to Council. The form for this is provided in the document link at the bottom of this page.

Page reviewed: 03 Feb 2021 8:24am