Families conducting "do-it-yourself" cremations in Hastings are being forced to pay an exact $874 in cash to do it.
Helen Moore, who organised a cremation without a funeral home for her husband, at his request, complained about the practice, which she said added to her stress.
Hastings District Council acting group manager asset management Jag Pannu said on Friday the council asks for cash payments because they do not have Eftpos and can no longer accept cheques as banks have stopped accepting them.
If a cremation or burial is arranged through a funeral director, fees are covered by the director and invoiced at a later date but if a member of the public is paying, they require payment prior to cremation or burial.
"With the phasing out of cheques we are considering reassessing whether we need to install Eftpos machines in some of our facilities that may not previously have had them."
Moore, who had previously cremated her father in 2015, was also left confused by the additional $200 "DIY" fee, that had increased the cost she had to pay from $674 to $874.
Pannu said in 2015 no DIY fee was charged, but it is now "to accurately reflect the costs of the significant amount of time we spend working with families in this situation".
Moore said a few weeks after the funeral she went on to the council website to try to work out what the extra $200 was for and could find no reference to an extra charge for doing it yourself and not using a funeral director.
"You think it would be in their list of fees and it isn't.
"Admittedly I haven't questioned it until fairly recently but then I wasn't really concentrating on that type of thing at the time."
Moore does not want anyone else to be charged the DIY fee and be unaware of it.
Pannu said the fee is not advertised on the fee schedule on the website but is "fully explained" at the time of booking with the family.
He said when people come to the cemetery office, they are informed that the cremation fee is $674 and there is a DIY fee of $200 and the reasons for this, "as happened in this circumstance".
"The fee that is charged covers the process of helping the family through the paperwork as part of the DIY cremation or burial process which can be a significant amount of time in most cases."
It also takes into account the assistance provided to the family when they arrive at the crematorium and transition the deceased into their care.
Funeral director Terry Longley Jr said there are various fees that are justifiable but people should understand why they are paying them and transparency is needed.
As a funeral director, there is a lot of paperwork and time that goes into crematorium applications and crematoriums predominantly rely on funeral homes who "completely understand this process" to do this administration work.
"It's not something you can look up on the internet and it tells you exactly step by step how to do it - it's kind of an inherent thing that funeral homes know how to do.
"I feel for those people that go through that because it is a stressful time.
"It is your right not to use a funeral home and it is pretty unclear for people if they choose not to use a funeral home."