Burial Procedures


Arranging a Burial

Please contact a funeral director to arrange a burial or service. In circumstances where no funeral director is involved families should complete an Application for Interment - right of interment and supply the deceased’s death certificate. Payment is required in full before any services occur.

Minimum notice of 48 hours is required for burials. Where possible Council should be notified as soon as possible of a proposed burial time.

Out of district fees apply to all plots purchases and interments where the deceased was neither living in the district nor was a ratepayer at the time of death.

After hours and public holiday fees also apply for burials completed after 1:00pm on Saturdays, and for burials on Sundays or public holidays.

Purchasing a Plot

Cemetery plots are only sold as required and cannot be purchased in advance. However, at the time of interment one adjoining plot can be reserved by next of kin at Manakau, Foxton and Shannon Cemeteries.

When a burial plot is purchased, an Exclusive Right of Interment in perpetuity is granted. While there is no ownership of the actual land area, the purchase entitles the plot owner to exclusive right of burial in the plot.

When application is made for a plot purchase, the applicant is considered the official ‘plot owner’ and a certificate of exclusive right of interment is issued in their name. The holder of the plot or their estate determines who can be buried there and what memorials can be placed there.

If the 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, payments for both plots are 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 all interment fees.

The owner of a plot may, with the consent of an authorised officer, transfer ownership rights to another person, or where the person is deceased, New Zealand estate and inheritance laws will determine who has right of interment to the plot. An application to vary an existing right of interment should be applied for.

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

Second Burials

Plots can be used for a second burial, ensuring that provision has been made at the time of the original interment. 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 the second interment.

One or more cremated ash interments are 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.

Monuments, Plaques and Headstones

Families are responsible for the maintenance of any plaque, monument or headstone except to ensure that they are in a safe condition. Council's role is to ensure that any plaque, monument or headstone complies with regulations regarding size, type and installation.

If any monument, plaque or headstone is not installed in accordance with Council policy or is not safe to visitors or those working in the cemetery it may be removed.

Council cannot accept any responsibility for the effects of weathering, vandalism and intentional willful damage to any monument, plaque or headstone.

Floral tributes are permitted only on the memorial strips. No permanent flowers or shrubs are allowed in lawn cemeteries.

Council's Responsibilities

A burial order or burial warrant is issued by the Council when we receive an application for interment. 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 other 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 cemetery grounds, facilities and gardens and will keep them in a safe, clean and tidy condition.

All burial rights herein are subject to the provisions specified in the Burial and Cremations Act 1964.