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"Take the Time to Talk" campaign launched

Press Release 2017 Take The Time to Talk – Embargoed until 10th April 2017

‘Take the Time to Talk’ campaign launched

Kiwis need to Take the Time to Talk, according to the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ), which this week launched their annual campaign to encourage people to spend time talking about final farewells.

FDANZ Chief Executive Katrina Shanks says she hopes the ‘Take the Time to Talk’ campaign will encourage people of all ages to share their life story and their wishes about what they want for their funerals with loved ones.

Take the Time to Talk discussions can help families make important decisions about how they wish to remember and honour the lives of their loved ones. When the time comes, these conversations can be translated to plan a meaningful gathering to remember and celebrate a person’s life.

“Our aim is to encourage New Zealanders to understand what is meaningful to them and those they love, and to share this information and memories with family and friends.”

Mrs Shanks says that after last year’s very popular inaugural campaign, this year’s campaign focuses on various aspects of a funeral, including decisions such as who will give the eulogy or say some final words, what people would like to wear for their final farewell, and what music they would like played. Each of these components plays an important role in the value of a funeral.

“Although the message is serious, this year’s campaign is intentionally light-hearted to help grab people’s attention and make them think about whether they would really want to leave some of the important decisions to others. For example, would you want to leave your final fashion statement up to your ever-helpful Aunt Mabel?

“While there is no one right or wrong way to have a funeral, most of us have a view on what we like, but many of us have yet to express this to our family.

“Some people say they don’t want a fuss, and even suggest they don’t need a funeral. But we know that being able to gather, remember and celebrate a person’s life allows family and friends to say goodbye in the most meaningful way. Creating a funeral event allows them to begin the journey of saying goodbye.

Take the Time to Talk is just as much about the sharing of life stories as it is about funeral planning. Sharing the memorable events, people, places and favourite activities, values and lessons learnt during their life can also help bring people closer to those they care most about. The talk also helps family reaffirm to their loved ones how much impact they had on them.

“The sharing of life stories and planning of final wishes combine to give families the assurance that the important information has been discussed in advance, so at the appropriate time they can focus on supporting each other and saying goodbye.”

Mrs Shanks says anyone can Take the Time to Talk to others – parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a spouse or a friend.

Take the Time to Talk should not be a one-time occurrence. Rather, it’s the beginning of a dialogue during which families can openly talk about a number of things – from reflecting on the past to planning for the future.

“In recent years, Kiwis have embraced discussions about retirement planning and financial planning, but we aren’t talking enough yet about our final wishes or planning for our funeral.

“I encourage families to have a chat with a FDANZ funeral home, or to simply ask them for a copy of their funeral planning brochures.”

More information about how to Take the Time to Talk, on why funerals are important, the different aspects of a funeral, or even to request a funeral cost estimate is on the FDANZ website


The Funeral Directors Association of NZ is a voluntary organisation of funeral homes that have demonstrated their commitment to support grieving families through qualifications, professional development, and by adopting the FDANZ Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.

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