'Horrific' embalming prompts calls for industry change

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
A Christchurch mother who says her daughter was not embalmed properly is continuing to call for a 'shake-up' of the funeral industry.

A Ministry of Health review is underway following a string of mistakes with grieving families complaining about bodies even being wrongly cremated.

Michelle Bishop's daughter Sharnae McLean, 24, died tragically in 2017.

She told Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB the body of her daughter started changing colour within two hours of her return from the funeral home and they were told to use make-up.

"Within two hours of them leaving we noticed her face had started to change colour. They proceeded to give us Thin Lizzie and just dust her as necessary."

The urn the family had ordered for after the funeral was also not received.

Bishop said the problems are because anybody can start up a funeral home and they don't need to be registered.

"I sincerely hope the government takes a look at this and make the change because somebody has to be accountable when something goes wrong.

"It was the most horrific ending, something ill never forget it in my lifetime."

The Funeral Directors Association has welcomed the review to give grieving families more rights when funerals go wrong.

Association CEO David Moger told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB, new entrants with no qualifications or standards are entering the industry.

He said literally anyone can sign a form, set up a Facebook account, buy a car and be in business.Moger said they won't give a meaningful farewell.

The Health Ministry review closes at end of month.

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