Story: Death and dying

DIY Coffin Club, Rotorua 2010

Personalised, do-it-yourself coffins became the project of the Coffin Club in 2010. A group of older people, all members of the Rotorua branch of the University of the Third Age, decided to build and decorate their own coffins. They ordered the wood, cut it into shape, assembled the coffins and devised the best strategy for securing the handles. They got most fun out of painting and decorating the coffins in ways that represented their personalities. The coffins cost much less to build than the caskets sold by funeral directors, but the point of the activity was not to save money but to make totally individual coffins.

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How to cite this page:

Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Death and dying - Burials and cemeteries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 July 2024)

Story by Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 16 May 2018, updated 1 Nov 2023