It's a task of grave importance, but there's nothing to stop New Zealanders having a laugh as they work on DIY caskets in the country's "coffin clubs."

Elderly club members meet for cups of tea, a bit of banter, and to literally put the final nail in one-of-a-kind coffins that will carry them to their eternal resting place.

Kevin Heyward plans to be sent off in a box resembling a vintage Austin Healey.