“We are a committed team of highly qualified, professional, friendly and caring people providing the personal touch and support that families require in their time of grief.”

Rod Latham – Location Manager


After 35 years in the sports industry as a player and administrator, Rod was looking for new direction and challenge. With an interest in the funeral industry for some time, Rod made the move to join Academy Funeral Services. “I am really enjoying the environment. We have a totally committed team of highly qualified professionals to take care of families during their time of grief”

“We have a very loyal clientele, and much of our business is with the same families, and through referrals.”

George Holtz - Assistant Manager

George has been in the funeral industry for over 16 years, the last five with Academy Funeral Services. He is a qualified Funeral Director and Registered and Qualified Embalmer, with a Diploma in Funeral Services. George says, “It is a privilege to serve our client families in their time of grief.”

“I really enjoy doing my very best for families, and helping them at this time when they need personal support and guidance.”

Tania Leighs - Funeral Director – Dip FD, Reg FD (FDANZ)

Tania has been in the funeral industry since 2007, gaining her qualifications in Funeral Directing in 2011.

“I love helping people – dealing with families at the lowest point in their lives.”

Kelvin Hurst - Funeral Director & Embalmer

Kelvin started his career at Academy in 2005. He is a qualified embalmer graduating in 2007, and a qualified Funeral Director graduating in 2014.

“I had always wanted to get into the funeral directing industry since high school, but knew I had to get some life experience under my belt first.”

Murray Crozier - Funeral Director & Embalmer

Murray has been in the funeral industry for seven years – all with Academy Funeral Services. Previously with Air New Zealand, he says he has always worked with people.

He says the team at Academy Funeral Services are great people to work with.

“I really enjoy being able to look after families loved ones. It is a very special job being able to help at such a difficult time.”

Amy Hutching - Embalmer & Funeral Assistant

Amy joined Academy Funeral Services in March 2015. After working in a few different vocations, she is looking forward to a long future in the funeral industry.

“I truly love my job. It’s an honour and privilege in helping families through this difficult time.”

Andrew Martin - Embalmer

As a qualified Embalmer, Andrew has been in the funeral industry since 2006. Originally from Wellington Andrew loves living in Canterbury with his family. He is dedicated to his job and families, helping them during what can be an extremely difficult time.

“The staff are wonderful to work with.”

Julie Smith - Office Administrator

Julie started working with Academy Funeral Services in 2013. She likes helping families and especially enjoys preparing the service sheets for the funeral service.

Losing someone can be a very challenging time for many. I consider it a privilege to be able to assist the families in any way possible, professionally and compassionately.

Bruce McErlich - Administration

Having previously worked in the Banking industry for the past 35 years, an opportunity was presented that allowed me to seek a new direction. When I saw the vacancy to join Academy Funeral Services, it felt very right to apply. To me it’s about people and how we treat them in their time of need.

“We are a professional, user-friendly team of qualified people totally committed to providing personal attention to families.”

Wayne Lyons - Consultant

A qualified Funeral Director and Embalmer, Wayne has been in the funeral industry for 42 years, with more than two decades of experience managing funeral homes. He has also served as President of the FDANZ. Having been with Academy Funeral Services since 2008, he says, “It’s our people that make the difference.”

We believe in Supporting our local community.

Peter Lawrence - Consultant

Peter established Academy Funeral Services in 1982 after graduating from the School of Embalming in London in 1980 with honours. Peter enjoyed attending to the prize winning gardens at Academy Funeral Services, as well as his own home garden.

“The Academy staff make it easy to come to work, and I enjoy making the gardens special for the people who come in.”

Nigel Henderson - Gardener

Nigel has been responsible for planting and maintaining the award-winning gardens at Academy Funeral Services for the last 12 years, planting a new garden every season.

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