Meet our people

Hello, I am Laura Manson

Photo: Laura Manson

I am one of the owners of Matuku Funerals, located in East Takaka. I founded Matuku Funerals because I am passionate about supporting families to personally care for their loved ones, and to have as much, or as little, involvement as they desire in the funeral and preparation of their deceased family member.

I had a positive experience planning and leading my beloved Grandmother’s funeral in 2015. Although I was in grief, I realised the huge emotional value planning her family-led service had for me. It was a much different experience than when I had lost other loved ones, my involvement gave me a sense of empowerment, completion and facilitated healthy grief. I felt that Grandma had a funeral that was 100% what she wanted, and that honoured her and her relationships.

My background was in volunteer work for our community, farm-office business, and long before that, I worked at the Visitor Information Centre. I am happily married to Mark Manson, and have two daughters. At age 41 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a successful treatment, I longed for a career change and had dreams of living life, doing meaningful work that supported my community and my family. I took my diploma of Art and Creativity and headed off to the Celebrant School for professional training.

It is my honour and passion to use my skills to design and present funerals and memorial services that are as original and special, as the very lives they seek to honour. It is my desire to help families to have , as much as possible, a good, empowering experience, and to make this hard time just a little bit easier, for those left behind.

Hi, I am Mark Manson

Photo: Mark Manson

This year, my family celebrated 100 years on Matuku Farm.  I am very pleased to share our beautiful piece of paradise, and hope that it will bring comfort and peace to the grieving.  I enjoy working as a funeral director, and assisting as required.  I am proud keeper of the garden at Matuku. I also run the PA system, and create slideshows for funeral services.  

Hello, I am Karilyn Woodford

Photo: Karilyn Woodford

I am an empathetic and skilled Mortuary Technician and Funeral Director.  I have an extensive background, I trained and studied in Christchurch.  It is nice to be helping people in my community. I will look after your loved one with kindness and professionalism.  I live in Golden Bay with my family and enjoy fitness, playing Bridge, and the outdoors.