Headstones NZ | New Zealand Master Monumental Masons Association Inc.

New Zealand Master Monumental Masons Association

The New Zealand Master Monumental Masons Association is a professional network of individuals and businesses dedicated to furthering the memorial stonemasonry industry in New Zealand, increasing understanding in all matters relating to natural stone memorials and safeguarding the interests of the bereaved. We achieve our goals through the promotion of high standards of service and products, assuring clients who use members of our Association a wide choice of premium quality professional monumental masons.

Why become a member of
the Association?

Our core purpose is to promote the monumental stonemasonry industry of New Zealand and to increase awareness amongst the general public and local councils of our aims, skills, expertise and resources with regard to memorial stonemasonry. Our members are at the forefront of the drive to perpetuate the strong tradition and history of New Zealand monumental stonemasonry, which gives their work an unsurpassed pedigree.

Approximately one third of all New Zealand monumental stonemasonry businesses are members of the Association, and they currently deal with 75% of all monuments erected in New Zealand.

Why should clients choose members of our Association?

Our members are well-established New Zealand businesses imbued with a strong tradition of quality service to the New Zealand public. Often family-run businesses, which have passed down from generation to generation, our members understand how to provide compassionate and professional support to grieving relatives and friends, and alleviate much of the stress associated with making the right choices in creating a lasting memorial to their loved one.

Choosing a fitting memorial will enable the client to celebrate, remember and reflect on the life of their loved one as well as beginning the process of grieving for them. Our members are part of the continuation of a long heritage of providing just such a service to the New Zealand public.

Additionally, dealing with an NZMMMA member gives the client an assurance that all installation work will be guaranteed by the Association. Our members have access to training and information overseen by the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) to enable them to maintain their professional skills and give them access to current legislative requirements for the production and installation of monuments.

Grieving for a Loved One

The death of a loved one is a devastating event. Trying to function as normal and look after yourself and your other surviving loved ones is often traumatic enough, without the added stress of having to make funeral and memorial arrangements. The bereaved also feel an absolute imperative to “get everything exactly right” when trying to pay tribute to their departed loved one, which adds even greater pressure at one of the most difficult and upsetting times that anyone has to face.

Often the process of arranging a funeral, and choosing a memorial stone to create a lasting tribute, allows the bereaved to celebrate the life of their loved one and to express and share their emotions productively. Putting in place a memorial stone will enable you to mark the event and create a defined point from which to move forward and begin to come to terms with your loss. It is widely recognised that being about to visit a cemetery and view a loved one’s memorial headstone helps with the grieving process. A memorial headstone can act as a catalyst in helping the bereaved to focus on past memories in a helpful manner, free emotion and allowing healing and comfort in your grieving process.


The Association was established back in 1945 by a group of like-minded stone masons who felt the need to protect the public’s rights to honour the memories of loved ones with the erection of memorial headstones.
Today Association members are drawn from all over New Zealand and currently represent 80% of the monumental masonry retail companies, as well as approximately one third of all businesses involved in the whole business sector.

Members are required to meet work experience and skill criteria which ensure a continuation of the high standards of workmanship you see in traditional monumental stonemasonry. This is also achieved through the endorsement of the use of granite in cemeteries. This material will stand the test of time and provide a permanent reminder of a loved one. Member companies are able use their knowledge of the by-laws for their local cemeteries to assist you in your choice of a memorial or cremation memorial suitable. Memorials have become a lot more personal in recent years through advances in cutting and design techniques. Now it’s possible to depict a person through their hobbies, sporting interests or scenes from nature. Your local NZMMMA member will be happy to discuss your requirements with you.

Why Choose an NZMMMA Member

NZMMMA members work to the highest possible quality standards in the service they provide to clients and the stonemasonry work they undertake and install. To become members of the association they have been through a strict screening process to ensure they consistently achieve the required high standards and will be able to maintain the professional membership requirements of the Association.

Choosing a memorial to honour and remember a loved one is something you may do only once or twice in a lifetime. By using a member of the NZMMMA you are assured of receiving sound professional advice from the choice of stone through to the completed cemetery installation. You can be secure in the knowledge that the work is being undertaken by a competent tradesperson.

Our members are also able to work in conjunction with related services like Funeral Directors or Funeral Planning Services to ensure a seamless process in planning memorials for the client’s loved one. This gives the client greater assurance that matters will be dealt with smoothly, reducing the potential for stress associated with organising memorial requirements, thus enabling the bereaved to focus on beginning the grieving process for their loved one.

All clients of our member companies have their installation workmanship guaranteed by the Association. This means that if you have any concerns over the service you have received you may contact the Association who will undertake a full investigation. Provided an opportunity has been given for the work to be corrected, if the installation workmanship is not found to be below the expected standards of our member companies the Association will correct the issues, at no extra cost to the client.

The regulations and by-laws for cemeteries do vary and there are often a number of options for memorials, particularly cremation memorials. Your local NZMMMA member has this information and will advise you on the various choices available.

See the membership directory to help you choose an NZMMMA member in your area.


How are the inscriptions put into the headstone?

Memorial inscriptions are sandblasted into the stone and will never wear out. The wording is highlighted by fine gold leaf or coloured paints. Most inscription paint will last for 10 years or so before needing to be retouched. A point to remember is the location and style of your memorial.
An upright style memorial's inscription will last longer than a flat in ground plaque due to the moisture of the ground, grass surroundings etc.

Can an inscription be added at a later date?

Yes, with careful planning of the initial layout of the design and lettering, this is one of the advantages of using granite as it allows additional inscriptions to be added. What can I do to care for the memorial?
A simple clean with water containing a mild soap detergent will help to keep it in good condition. The use of harsh or abrasive cleaners should be avoided as this can damage the lettering and the polish of the stone. For a rough edge memorial this cleaning is required more frequently to inhibit the growth of moss or lichen.
For more extensive cleaning of excessive lichen growth contact a NZMMMA member in your area they are the experts and have the equipment needed so as not to damage the original stone.

How do I choose a Memorial Mason?

To help you make a choice, check on the membership directory and choose a company in your area.
Through our membership network you are able to speak to a local member and they will be able to arrange work in other areas to be completed on your behalf.

Code of Ethics

These are the standards of trading which members of the Association are required to observe:

  1. Each shall at all times conduct himself and engage in business dealings only in accordance with accepted custom and practice and in particular shall not canvas or make any approach whatever, to prospective clients, for work, within fourteen (14) clear days from the date of bereavement.
  2. He shall on all occasions discourage the pestering of the bereaved, including the soliciting of orders in cemeteries.
  3. He shall be prepared to guarantee that his work is of a high standard and that all memorials are properly and securely erected.
  4. A member shall do all in his power to uphold and maintain the dignity of the trade.
  5. His advertising, design books, catalogues and prices shall be honest and not be misleading.
  6. He shall endeavour to maintain fair prices to the public and the member.
  7. He shall at all times endeavour to foster friendly relations with and mutually assist other members in all matters concerning the interest of the trade.