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Exhumation of both buried and cremated remains generally requires a licence from the Ministry of Justice.  

Exhumations occur for several reasons, including:  

  • movement from the original grave to a subsequently acquired family plot in the same or another cemetery 
  • repatriation overseas to be buried along with other family 
  • transfer from one cemetery scheduled for development to another 
  • court orders requiring further forensic examination.  

It is an offence to exhume any human remains without first obtaining the necessary lawful permissions. Funeral directors can help in obtaining these permissions. Alternatively approach the Ministry of Justice for a licence.