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Reterniti sets out to bring innovation to the funeral services industry

Founded in 2020 by Peter Russell, the recently launched Te Ohaka startup Reterniti sets out to bring innovation to the Funeral Services industry. It solves what to do with pet or peoples ashes (or cremains).


“We all want to be remembered; we do not want to be forgotten. We would prefer to be somewhere meaningful to us, where our descendants can get a sense of what was important to us. And, this in fact may be several places. This is precisely what Reterniti takes care of”, says Peter. 


Presently, families are given a box, bag or an urn of remains. Individuals are left to their own devices. In most cases, the ‘what’s next’ is uncertain, confusing and unpleasant. The majority of us will opt for cremation; this is where the typical industry will stop if you do not opt for a memorial garden. 


Reterniti’s plan is to develop an entire business ecosystem. It starts with the Reterniti stone; a user friendly, transportable and retainable format of ashes. The company also wants to enable geotagging of scattered or final resting locations, such that a globally linked map and digital profile of ancestors can be developed. Additionally, Reterniti can produce multiple stones for individuals to distribute, place and track global and/or local places that may have been meaningful to one’s person or family.


The target audience is everyone. It is a solution for a burgeoning global population. The intention is to innovate and become established in New Zealand first, starting within the Pet space, then rapidly expand globally.


Introducing Peter Russell

Why did you decide to embark on your startup journey?

Simple – I was tired of making other people wealthy!


What is the most enjoyable part of your startup journey?

Doing things MY way! No endless corporate meetings or committees; no dumbing down of concepts. It is pure unfettered product development.


What is the most challenging part of your startup journey so far? Why?

Actually finding co-founders & partners! That is the single most difficult aspect so far. Most times a great concept is the product of one person; finding like minded, talented people who happen to be free work-wise or at a similar life stage is extremely challenging.


What are your biggest lessons you have learned in your startup journey so far?

It can be a lonely and expensive journey. Many times you can be tempted back into the corporate world – both for the human interaction and for one’s financial wellbeing. It’s a balancing act and it constantly tests your resolve.


What would you have done differently if you are given the chance to start over your startup journey?

Nothing. I’ve been involved with a successful start up in Sydney Australia; I’m finding the Christchurch experience, particularly with MOA / Te Ohaka much more nurturing and receptive.