Consultation open on draft Cemeteries Plan
Public consultation is open on Council’s draft Cemeteries Plan, which provides strategic direction for public cemetery services in Tairawhiti for the next 20+ years.
Among the key changes suggested in the plan is providing more burial options, including natural and eco burials, as well as reviewing how cemetery services are funded.
The plan highlights the need for cemetery services to be affordable and financially sustainable, while responding to changing community preferences in burial options.
Council’s fees and charges are among the lowest in the country, with a full burial plot ranging from $283 - $1021 compared with the national average of $1988.
The plan identifies priority actions including improving the crematorium facilities at Taruheru Cemetery and installing ash berms in high use rural cemeteries.
Options for improving the design and amenity of public cemeteries is included in the plan, along with the possibility of a heritage trail connecting Taruheru and Makaraka Cemeteries.
The growth in ancestry and genealogy research brings more visitors to cemeteries, with an increasing expectation for Council to maintain and provide easy access to these records. Developing digital services to support this research is factored into the plan.
Council spends $250k annually on cemeteries and associated services.
Council has budgeted $45k for capital renewals in the current Long Term Plan (LTP), with a further $50k to upgrade the crematorium building in the next year.
However funding provided in the current LTP will not cover implementation of all the proposed actions in the draft plan and further resourcing will be required through the next 2021 – 2031 LTP.
Council maintains 13 public cemeteries across the region, occupying 51 hectares - the largest being Taruheru, with 22,230 interments.
The Cemeteries Plan is part of the wider policy framework of the Community Facilities Strategy. Public submissions on the draft plan close Friday 2 November.
For more information and to make a submission online