A Southland man has received a police warning after cremating his father's body on a family farm.
The body of John Ramage, who died of natural causes in Southland Hospital before Christmas, was cremated in a huge fire at the farm of his brother, Chris, in the Southland town of Nightcaps.
Invercargill police Sergeant John De Lury told the Southland Times Mr Ramage's son organised the cremation.
"He wanted to cremate his father and he wanted to be present when it happened. The crematorium people weren't going to let that happen - so he did it himself."
The "monstrous" fire had burned for two days, and was sufficient to cremate Mr Ramage's body, Sgt De Lury said.
While it was legal to cremate people outside of a crematorium, as some religious denominations did, the son did not have the required paperwork.
"It is my understanding that if he had asked for a certificate he would have got it," Sgt De Lury said.
The man received a warning from police.
The maximum punishment for carrying out a cremation outside of a crematorium without permission is a fine "not exceeding 500 pounds" or up to 12 months' imprisonment.
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