The Funeral Directors Association are investigating claims made by industry insiders about "dodgy" managers and "morally and ethically" bad behaviour including mismanaging funeral payments, bullying and fiddling with records to hide transactions.
And they are calling on people with information to come forward to help them get to the bottom of the claims - promising total confidentiality for whistleblowers.
Last week the Herald reported concerns and allegations by a group of sources in the Canterbury area.
They were too afraid of losing their jobs to be named or for their employers to be identified.
Alongside "appalling" treatment of staff the group raised the issue of mismanagement of money - and accused some directors of fraud and blatant theft.
They were desperate for change and strict regulations to be introduced in the industry and called on authorities to help.
The issues around the handling of money were reported to the Serious Fraud Office but it fell short of their threshold for an investigation.
It is understood the IRD is now looking into the financial operations of at least one South Island funeral home after staff alleged there were "serious breaches" of the law.
After the story was published others came forward with similar concerns about the same employers - and others.
They made further claims of dishonest dealings and poor treatment of employees.
The Ministry of Health is currently working on an overhaul and modernisation of the law that governs death, burial, cremation and funerals and was "concerned" about the issues raised by the whistleblowers.
It hoped to engage with them directly and asked them to make contact, assuring confidentiality if requested.
The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand has made a similar call for contact.
Chief executive David Moger spoke to the Herald at length about the situation.
He said he was "very concerned" by the issues raised by the group.
"I was very concerned, in particular, with the level of emotion that came through - clearly the members of this group are very upset," he said.
"We don't like to think that people are struggling at work, when we spend so much of our time here - particularly in our industry, where we are surrounded by grief.
"To be working in this environment and to be facing challenges is particularly distressing."
Moger said after reading the Herald story he had contacted all association members and the Ministry of Health to address the situation.
He was asking for the insiders or anyone else with information, evidence or proof of any unethical or illegal behaviour to come forward.
"I'd like to make people confident that their confidentiality will be respected 100 per cent," he said.
"I don't think it's right for people to be feeling this strongly and we have avenues and channels that can help.
"But I really need to understand the facts and evidence - I am a great believer in natural justice and there are two sides to that, so we have reached out to our members too.
"We want to understand this - we can't craft a resolution or solution until we have the evidence and information."
Moger wanted to hear from anyone else with similar or other concerns - both in and outside Canterbury.
He said the association would never "come after" whistleblowers - it simply wanted information so it could form a basis for action.
"In my role, and for me personally it's important.
"There are people who have been deeply impacted and they are hurting and I want to help them.
"This is about creating a safe, encouraging, uplifting and supportive workplace environment."
Moger said employers had a duty of care to staff around wellbeing and there were a number of ways people could seek help including a free employment assistance programme and dispute resolution service.
"I'm very concerned and disappointed.. There are a number of ways in which we can help and a number of ways we can move this forward.
"But we don't know the full facts of the situation yet."
DO YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE?
Moger said people could contact him directly to discuss concerns or pass on information and promised complete confidentiality if they wished.
He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who wishes to speak out can also contact: email@example.com