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About Us

All Shone & Shirley staff are passionate about their work and  go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the funeral arrangement process is delivered with understanding and compassion.

You are welcome to meet our staff and inspect our premises at any time. Simply call us on 03 546 5700 to make an appointment.


Alastair Hebberd - Funeral Director / Managing Director

Emma Hebberd - Director / Funeral Director

Alastair is a 4th generation Nelsonian who grew up around a funeral home. At a young age he found his calling in the funeral industry, leaving Nelson Boys College to work full-time at the funeral home and pursue his true calling.

Alastair gained his diploma in embalming and graduated with an award in 2009. He and Emma then moved to Blenheim where he gained a position at a local funeral home there. He furthered his career by completing the Diploma in Funeral Directing before moving into a management role.

Alastair is passionate about supporting families to plan and direct funerals for their loved ones. He takes great care in making sure everything is organised and ready to run smoothly on the day and will go the extra mile to make sure each service is personalised to reflect the life of a loved one. He was the first person in New Zealand to receive the CARE award within the previous company he worked for.

In 2019 Alastair and Emma are proud to be the seventh owners of Nelsons first funeral home. With beautiful purpose built, modern, and up-to-date facilities that cater for all types of services, they are proud to offer all the support they can to families in a time of grief.

Emma grew up in Richmond attending Waimea College. She then undertook a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning degree before teaching at a local school in Blenheim for many years. After becoming a Mum to Charlotte she went back to teaching part time. She now finds it a privilege to be involved in Shone & Shirley and has many complementary skills to bring to the team. 

Both Alastair and Emma believe strongly in the value of community and family. They have both been involved in local groups and organisations, giving their time and skills back to their community.

Alastair, Emma, and the team at Shone and Shirley believe it is a true honour to care for families who have a bereavement in their family.


April Buckingham

Funeral Director

April was born in Nelson and has returned from the Waitaki District after 50 years away.  April has had previous experience as a funeral director and assistant embalmer and is delighted to now be part of the Shone and Shirley team.  


She is following in her father’s footsteps as he also worked firstly for Shone & Co. and continued on with Shone & Shirley for over 20 years.  April has a passion for taking care of grieving families and their loved ones.  Her love of people shows in her ability to make every farewell as personal as possible.


April breeds and shows her small Shetland Ponies but has a love for all animals.  Her wee dog Chloe is fast becoming part of the office.

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Helen Faauli

Funeral Home Support and Embalmer

E ai ki nga korero a nga tupuna, Ko te mea nui, Ko te aroha. From the words  of our ancestors.. The greatest gift is love. E nga reo, E nga mana, E nga iwi katoa.. Tena koutou katoa. To the strength and language of all people, Greetings to all. Ko Helen Fa’auli toku ingoa, He uri ahau Mai..Te Whare Tapu o Ngapuhi. Helen is my name, and I descend from the Far North of New Zealand in the Bay of Islands.


Helen is married to Pele Fa’auli who sadly passed away in 2020. They are parents to 5 tamariki and Grandparents to 11 mokopuna and 1 great moko. Helen understands the importance of whanau in a time of grief, Helen loves her whanau dearly and implements this value in her work as she firmly believes in the whakatauki (proverb) above, “Ko te mea nui Ko te aroha”.


Helen enjoys her mahi(work) and supporting Shone and Shirley with her quiet gentle way and is a valued member and also works alongside our Maori whanau. When Helen isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her whanau and friends, working on her whakapapa(Geneology) and ministering to those in need. No reira Tena koutou Tena koutou Tena koutou katoa.


Lenore Heather

Administrator and Receptionist

Lenore was born in Blenheim and has lived most of her life in the Top of the South.  She attended Nelson College for Girls from 1971-1973 before her family moved to Hokitika. Lenore returned to Blenheim in 1983 and raised her three children there.   In 2010 Lenore and her husband Keith decided to make the move to Nelson and they really enjoy the region, while still being handy to grandchildren in Blenheim and Christchurch.


Her background is working for the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Justice so her experience and knowledge from both these roles are a great asset to Shone and Shirley and to the families they care for.  Lenore says “I have always felt it a privilege to be there for a person at a difficult time in their life when they need support and aroha.”


When Lenore is not on the front desk at Shone and Shirley, she is a member of Soroptimist International Waimea. Soroptimist International is a worldwide volunteer service organization for women who work for peace, and in particular to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.


Lenore also enjoys keeping fit, reading, and spending time with family and friends – usually at one of the many cafes in the region. 


Helen Hebberd

In House Florist

Helen Hebberd is a well-known Nelson florist (and the mother of Shone & Shirley director, Alastair Hebberd) with over 50 years experience. She owned the popular Woodlea Floral Studio, Nelson's first florist, until 2008.  She now offers a full funeral floral service for the funeral home's clients.



Shone & Shirley was Nelson's first funeral home, established in 1862. Thomas Shone Senior began his business in 1862 as a cabinetmaker, upholsterer and undertaker in Bridge Street. At the time it was common for cabinetmakers - who were the main suppliers of coffins - to branch into other funeral related business. 

1890  -  1900
On his death in 1890 his two sons, both cabinetmakers, carried on the family business. About 1900 Alfred relocated the business to a site in Collingwood Street. 

1922  -  1969
The business was sold in 1922 to John Bredbury and then to P S Campen in 1936. Shone & Co., as it was known, then bought out the Richmond based funeral operations of W E Wilkes Ltd. 

1970  -  2005
Ted Shirley acquired Shone & Co in 1970, adding his family name to the business. Ted’s sons then operated Shone & Shirley Ltd as a family business until 2000, when the MacDonald family purchased the business. 

2005  -  2011
In May 2005 the business was sold to Craig and Tracey Hames and Ian and Suzanne Bell of Christchurch Bell, Lamb & Trotter Funeral directors Limited.

2011  -  Nov 2019
In July 2011 the business was relocated to a new purpose-built funeral home in Tahunanui, which was developed by Bev and Gary Boucher who later in 2012 also purchased the business of Shone & Shirley funeral directors.

Nov 2019

In Nov 2019 Shone & Shirley was purchased by Alastair & Emma Hebberd.  Alastair is an experienced funeral director and he and Emma are passionate about honouring the long tradition of Nelson's oldest funeral home while bringing warmth and empathy to the families they serve.

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