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About us

Manaaki Mats is based in Aotearoa, New Zealand.  Supply and  Training are offered nationally and internationally.

Founded by Deathcare Educators Annie Meredith and Claire Turnham.  They feel honoured to offer this specialist and sensitive resource and know the value and gift that Manaaki Mats bring to bereaved families.  


Introducing Claire Turnham MBE,  BA. Grad Dip of Teaching

Claire is a mother of four and a leading home funeral guide and educator. She has been on a mission to gently change death care one family at a time since setting up Only With Love in 2014, whilst living in the UK.  Having returned to New Zealand in 2020 she now feels privileged to be supporting our most precious babies and helping bring the awareness of using and providing Manaaki Mats to the world.  As a pioneer of the home funeral movement, she is passionate about sharing her skills, knowledge and experience to help others. Claire is recognised internationally as a leading Home Funeral Practitioner, Educator, Celebrant and Advisor.  In 2016 she was awarded Runner Up Green Funeral Director of the Year and Commended for her OWL Funeral Services at the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 UK Good Funeral Awards.  More recently Claire has been honoured by Amnesty International for her campaigning and advocacy work and awarded an MBE for her services to Consumer Rights.

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Introducing Annie Meredith,  BA. Post Grad Dip of Teaching

Annie is leading the national roll-out of the Manaaki Mat project across Aotearoa, NZ.  She is also a Funeral Celebrant and End of Life Doula offering her services supporting people in the Tairāwhiti region. She loves this special work and her background in education brings the skills of listening, organisation and patience.  She supports people at all stages of life and helps with life legacy and reflection work, memoirs, advance care planning and funeral and deathcare guidance.  She has hosted workshops for her community including Age Concern, Hospice Tairāwhiti, and can speak on a broad range of topics about death and dying. Her goal is that all people are aware of their options around deathcare and she is passionate about sharing information.  Annie currently lives in her hometown of Gisborne, New Zealand with extended family.  She is the mother to Rosa and Eve.


Introducing MJ Dain-Cutlerhunt - Administrator
MJ is an ex-navy operations administrator and has a background working in the healthcare sector. Being a part of the Manaaki Mats team is an honour and very special mahi to MJ as a bereaved parent who utilised the mats for their second son Tyrer Wolf who was stillborn in April 2022. The experience she had using the mats was one she and her whānau will always be grateful for. MJ and her whānau live in the beautiful coastal town of Gisborne, NZ.
MJ is a valuable asset to the Manaaki Mats team. She has already helped with setting up new systems, sharing ideas, showing her initiative and displaying her broad administrative knowledge. It is a pleasure to have MJ with her skill set, and the personal experience and insight that she brings to this important work. 

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