Roadside coffins hope to bury big expenses

GRAVE CONCERNS: Kevin Moyle has built a coffin and is selling it on the side of the road in Eltham.
GRAVE CONCERNS: Kevin Moyle has built a coffin and is selling it on the side of the road in Eltham.

A homemade coffin for sale on an Eltham roadside is one solo dad's way of making "a few extra dollars".

Kevin Moyle is a carpenter by trade and builds rabbit and guinea pig hutches as a way of supplementing his benefit.

On the weekend he decided to try his hand at a coffin.

GRAVE CONCERNS: Kevin Moyle has built a coffin and is selling it on the side of the road in Eltham.
GRAVE CONCERNS: Kevin Moyle has built a coffin and is selling it on the side of the road in Eltham.

"It's been in my head for a long time but I came across a magazine with some measurements," he said.

People paid too much to bury their loved ones.

"I reckon there's a market for it, death's expensive.

"Why should someone put themselves in the hock to bury someone?"

According to the Consumer website, coffin costs in New Zealand range from about $750 for untreated pine or plywood, up to as much as $5000.

The price tag on Mr Moyle's coffin is $150.

The 182cm macrocarpa coffin on display was just a prototype, he said.

"If I did another one I would take my time a bit," he said.

The coffin could serve other practical means before it was put to its intended use, he said.

"You can take the lid off and put some shelves in and while you're not using it you can store your CDs in it.

"Or you can use it for a coffee table and put your magazines on it."

Propped against his front fence on Eltham's main drag, the coffin had attracted plenty of attention since he put it out on Saturday.

"You wouldn't believe the number of people who have stopped and taken a photo.

"I'm interested to see if it sells," he said

If he received enough interest he could build a little business specialising in chicken coops, rabbit cages and coffins, he said.

According to the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand, the average cost of a funeral is $8800. About 50 per cent of this is the funeral director's fee and another 20 per cent is the price of the coffin.

Local government charges (for plot and cremation fees) account for most of the rest.

Taranaki Daily News