Is it okay to scatter a loved one’s ashes on the beach or in the sea?

// Updated 18 August 2020



Many kiwis feel they have a real connection to the coastline and the ocean.  It is a common request for people to ask that, after they die, their ashes are scattered on a beach or in the sea.  To Māori this is an abhorrent idea and breaks with tīkanga.  It’s akin to burying a body in your vegetable patch!  Ashes are tapu (sacred) so need to be kept away from food sources such as kaimoana (shellfish and fish).  Ngāti Hei appreciates your cooperation in this.

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