Burial Procedures

Purchasing a plot

Cemetery plots maintained by us are only sold as required and may not be purchased in advance. However, more than one plot can be purchased at the time of a bereavement.

When a cemetery plot is purchased, there is no ownership of the actual land area. The purchase entitles the plot owner to exclusive right of burial in that plot.

A record of the plot purchase is recorded on a Burial Rights Certificate. Duplicates are available (a fee may be charged).

If payment for the plot has not been made, the person who applies for the burial is liable for payment. Where more than one single plot has been purchased, payment for both plots is required at the time of reservation.

No memorials, plaques or headstones can be erected until all fees have been paid. Fees include the exclusive right of burial and interment fees.

An owner of a plot may, with the consent of an authorised officer, transfer ownership rights to another person. This will incur a fee.

Where a plot has been purchased by a person that is now deceased, New Zealand estate and inheritance laws will be applied to determine who has the rights to the plot.

Burials will take place in a plot as determined by the Council.

Exclusive rights of burial are sold subject to terms and conditions decided by resolution of the Council. The exclusive right shall lapse if a burial does not take place within 60 years of the purchase date.

Second burials

A standard single burial plot is 1.8m deep (double depth). It can be used for one or two burials. A second burial is permitted providing consent from the plot owner or their descendant(s) has been given on the burial application form.

The standard burial fee will be charged for the re-opening of a grave for a second interment.

One or more cremated ash interments is allowed in a burial plot provided the person who owns the burial rights to the plot has given their permission. The standard ash interment fee will be charged for each ash burial.

Cremation ash plots

Cremated ash plots may be used for the interment of one or more cremated ash burials, but the size of an ash plot means there can only be one headstone or plaque.

Monuments, plaques and headstones

We are not responsible for the maintenance of any monument, plaque or headstone except to ensure they are safe and that they comply with regulations regarding size, type and installation.

If any monument, plaque or headstone is not safe for those visiting or working in the cemetery or not installed correctly it may be removed.

No responsibility can be accepted for the effects of weathering, vandalism and intentional wilful damage to any monument, plaque or headstone.

Floral tributes are permitted only on the memorial strips. Vase inserts can be provided for this purpose. No permanent flowers or shrubs are allowed in lawn cemeteries.

Cemeteries with a Returned Services Area

  • Plots are provided without fee for the burial of:
    • Those who have been on recognised operational service in Her Majesty’s Forces;
    • and by the husband, wife, civil union partner, or de facto partner of a person who has been on recognised operational service in Her Majesty's Forces.
  • For information on rules and eligibility contact the council or your local Returned Servicemen’s Association (RSA), or veterans affairs office in Wellington.
  • The standard burial fee or cremated ash burial fee shall apply.

Our responsibilities

A burial warrant is issued by the Council when we receive an application for burial. If the burial involves interment in a plot already used or owned, authorisation will be required from the owner(s) of the burial rights to the plot.

No person other than those appointed by, or given permission by the Council can dig any grave in, or open the ground for burial, in any part of any cemetery.

We are responsible for the layout of the cemetery and will keep the cemetery and its facilities and gardens in a safe, clean and tidy condition.

We maintain information about all burials at Council-operated cemeteries. This information is available on our website and from Puke Ariki. For detailed enquiries, a fee may be charged.

All burial rights referred to herein are subject to the provisions specified in the Burial and Cremations Act 1964 and Cremation Regulations 1973 and its subsequent amendments.