Death documents online - Ministry of Health


The Ministry of Health has been working with the Department of Internal Affairs to make it simpler for health practitioners to complete medical documents after someone dies.


Now available

All doctors and nurse practitioners can now complete the medical certificates of cause of death and cremation forms via the new online Death Documents platform, instead of filling in paper forms. Online documents can be filled in on computers, tablets and mobile devices with internet access.

We now have 140 registered users and over 300 documents have been completed online. Feedback from early adopters has been positive and the Ministry is now keen to increase awareness and uptake of the new service.


Why are we doing this?

The new online platform has key benefits:

· It is easier for health practitioners to complete the forms accurately.

· Health practitioners can complete and amend the forms anywhere, anytime, on a range of devices as long as they have internet access. · Documents submitted online are instantly sent to the Ministry of Health so that notification to the health sector about someone’s death can happen more quickly, reducing risk of an appointment reminder being sent to a deceased person, for instance.

· It is easier for funeral directors to register the death with the Department of Internal Affairs.

· The Department of Internal Affairs receives an early notification of each death, independent of the death registration. This allows timely chasing up of any missing death registrations.


Future plans

Ongoing enhancements are being made to Death Documents.

· Funeral directors will be able to access the documents on-line in coming weeks. This will mean doctors will no longer have to print the forms.

· We are working to integrate with the National Health Index (NHI) to pre-populate the patient details and make it quicker for practitioners to complete a document.

· In a future phase we will have Medical Referees able to view the documents on-line and complete their certificate to cremate.


Access Death Documents

Practitioners can access Death Documents at Further information about completing Death Documents is available on the Ministry website Completing death documents.

The Ministry of Health is also taking feedback from Death Documents users about how the online process can be further enhanced through feedback forms on the Death Documents service at


Death Document project webpages and resources

You can read more on the Ministry webpages: Death Documents Project.

A range of roll-out resources is available to assist in promoting the uptake of the online platform including

- a short training video

- a link to Dr Sam Holford's Ward Calls podcast

- Verifying and Certifying Death, and

- a Getting Started handout to assist your organisation to promote the use of the online Death Documents capability.

We also have a What's New section, covering news of the project including

- new features to amend a certificate you've already completed, and to delete a draft,

- the latest on uptake within the sector,

- and the ability for Nurse Practitioners to now complete cremation forms.


How can you help?

Adoption of the online Death Documents platform is important to enable the system’s full benefits to be realised, and we invite you to share this communication with your health practitioners.