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Return to Sender

Return To Sender is New Zealand's leading designer and manufacturer of 'new design caskets', catering to the growing number of people looking for less traditional, aesthetically designed and environmentally preferable coffins.

For people who want to make their final footprint a small one.

We offer a wide range of real and hand-finished options made from sustainable wood, some with native timbers. Our designs are environmentally considered - if there's a better way to do it we're probably already doing so - and our appropriately priced caskets meet the highest performance requirements due to the functional construction techniques we apply. Environmental considerations include material choice, assembly options (fixings), handles, finishes and, of course, just using less material to make the caskets.


Many people are attracted to the woodgrain and wool fleece, environmentalists have chosen it for the minimal use of materials and eco-iconic appearance and others have chosen it just to express individuality. The Artisan's unique design encourages celebration of life rather than mourning death and is particularly suited to those who refused a life of grey conformity.

Families wanting an open casket will find the low sides a welcome feature - mourners can sit with the deceased without having to stand and peer down into a box.

Archetype – rimu

The rimu Archetype is manufactured using certified sustainably harvested North Island rimu which is not treated in any way and contains no added chemicals. The Archetype design is traditional with notable enhancements. The handles are integrated so metal or plastic handles are not required. The interior is a feature and does not need to be hidden with fabric. The finishing touch is the wool fleece mattress which complements the wood grain. The lid is fixed by wooden keys (supplied) and can be clipped to the sides when open. The timber has a fine finish and is coated with oil.

Archetype – pine

The same shape as the rimu version but offering a lighter toned alternative. The timber is radiata pine which has been sustainably grown in New Zealand. The timber is not treated in any way and is finely sanded (no finishes added). Handles are integrated and a wool fleece mattress and pillow are included. This option is intended for those wanting to paint their casket (it would be a shame to paint rimu).

Artisan – art finish

The use of art on the lid of this casket provides an alternative to using fresh flowers. With the Flox 1 Artisan, the original artwork by Hayley King of Flox Design was developed specifically for the Artisan casket with empathy for the natural wood grain of the lid. The Flox 2 Artisan features a signature piece of Hayley's featuring a tui and native foliage.


The quintissential 'plain pine box'. Simple construction - lower cost. No treatments - no coatings. Includes a calico and recycled wool mattress. The Woodstock is made from untreated New Zealand plantation grown Radiata Pine. The idea behind this model is to offer a greener choice in the lower price bracket. It is a rustic solid timber casket in a similar price bracket to commonly used MDF / plastic coffins. The finish is not rough-sawn; the timber is dressed and it is assembled in a simple manner with pins, glue and a few screws.


Rimu urn

We once had a request to supply an urn to compliment the rimu Archetype casket chosen by the family. It was obvious that this is something we should offer to others. What sets it apart is the inscription being etched directly into the lid - no plastic name plate required. Made in Tauranga from sustainably grown New Zealand rimu.