ZB host on impact of funeral restrictions after mother dies

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 13 May 2020, 3:32PM
Tim Beveridge, second from right, with his dather Tony, his wife Annie, and his mum Mary-Rae. (Photo / File)

ZB host on impact of funeral restrictions after mother dies

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 13 May 2020, 3:32PM

Update: Govt backs down on funeral rules - up to 50 people allowed

Newstalk ZB radio host and musician Tim Beveridge who is mourning the loss of his mother has slammed the Government for its "cold and heartless" coronavirus funeral rules.

Mary Rae Beveridge passed away on Monday surrounded by her loving family.

Her son Tim told fellow ZB radio presenter Kerre McIvor this morning that it's been "surreal" trying to organise a funeral capped at 10 people – immediate family and just one of his mother's close friends - for such a sociable, loving person.

"It just seems to me there's this coldness around the whole things that really matter," he said.

"So you can go a cinema, you can go to cafes but when it comes to something really important like a funeral or a wedding … heaven forbid people might mix with one another and show some emotion. I'm really struggling with the idea of the way it's implemented

"We're better off than people a few weeks ago but I just think it's heartless stuff."

He added: "If people could walk for a mile in the shoes of those who have lost someone, they might have a different perspective on it, rather than just talking about kindness and leaving it to someone else."

The Government has been widely criticised for its "inhumane" limit on funeral and religious gatherings under alert level 2, prompting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to this afternoon announce an urgent review of the 10-person limit for funerals under alert level 2. An announcement is expected this afternoon.

Ardern has defended the 10-person limit because of public health concerns, citing mass gatherings at services overseas that had led to new coronavirus outbreaks.

Those concerns increased for funerals and tangi, she said, because of people's tendencies to hug each other for comfort when they are grieving.

But Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says it's not fair to have 30 people on a rugby field playing close contact sport when no more than 10 people at a funeral can grieve together.

Today, the National Party has launched a petition to allow up to 100 people at funerals, weddings and places of worship.

"Our team has been inundated with heart-breaking messages from people who are grieving. Most extended families have more than ten people and that's before you get to friends and other loved ones," Bridges says.

Oliver Christiansen, who took the Government to court and won the right to leave mandatory isolation to visit his dying father, yesterday told the Herald the Government's funeral rules have dealt his family another cruel blow.

Beveridge described his mother as a "lioness" who was incredibly loyal and the life of a party.

It was "heartbreaking", he said, that there won't be many there to farewell her.

He held a "forlorn hope" that the Government would back down on its rigid rules, but said his family wouldn't be waiting for others to make decisions.

"The thing that's struck me is that kindness seems to a word that's been turned into something that supposed to belong to people of a part political persuasion and that's just absolute bollocks," he said.

"Kindness is something that is seen in people's actions and not in what they say they are going to do. And we've had a lot of kindness and love – as other families would've had as well and I feel for them as well. There's nothing like the solidarity you feel with friends and family and workmates and everything … nothing brings people together like something like this."