In September 2019, at the Sands National Conference in Christchurch, the New Zealand Government launched a new website resource for bereaved families.


The website contains information for family and whānau who experience the death of a baby or child.

The aim is to bring all information together for parents in one single resource. The information on the website includes outlining parents rights; any legal requirements; financial information including support and entitlements; burial and cremation requirements and options; travel and transport options; postmortem information; explaining the coronial process; and options for support.

Wheturangitia is a joint initiative between partner agencies and NGO’s responsible for services associated with end of life. Lead by the Department of Internal Affairs the government agencies involved are:

  • Department of Internal Affairs
  • Ministry of Social Development
  • Inland Revenue
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Justice
  • ACC

Meaning of Whetūrangitia

In traditional whaikōrero (oratory speeches) Māori refer to the passing of a person as a ‘star’ that returns to the sky to join the multitude of ancestors. Whetūrangitia means “stars that adorn the sky”. The whakataukī (proverb), “Kua whetūrangitia koe”, in this context means, “Return, take your place amongst the stars along with your ancestors that adorn the sky”.