Aucklanders can now have their say on potential development zones to create additional burial capacity within Waikumete Cemetery.
Auckland Council is seeking feedback on where additional burial capacity can be created, as well as acceptable alternative burial methods to guide the Waikumete Cemetery Expansion Assessment. Feedback can be submitted via the council website from 5 March until 2 April 2019.
While existing cemeteries provide adequate body burial capacity in the north and south of the region, there is a need to increase burial space for communities in the west. There is currently less than five years’ demand of lawn burial plots available for purchase at Waikumete, and no remaining areas within the cemetery that allow easy development of additional burial plots.
“Waikumete Cemetery is of historical, cultural and ecological significance and we’re at a point where development for new burial areas is challenging,” says Councillor Penny Hulse, Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee Chair.
"We know Waikumete Cemetery is important to Aucklanders right across the region, so we’re keen to hear from the public on what areas they are comfortable seeing developed to provide burial plots for the next few decades.
“Auckland Council has identified two potential expansion zones within Waikumete Cemetery and the burial methods that could be provided in those zones. These zones take into account the ecological, historic heritage and physical values of the land, planning and operational constraints and economic viability.”
At 107 hectares, Waikumete Cemetery in Glen Eden is the largest cemetery in New Zealand and the largest public open space in west Auckland between the Central Business District and the Waitākere Ranges.
Historically, there has been a preference for lawn burials, however, to support increased capacity within the cemetery, there is a need to explore other burial options.
“We also want to know what types of burials the community would be comfortable with, other than the traditional lawn burials, which may provide us with additional options to optimise available space for burial and memorialisation,” says Councillor Hulse.
Other types of burials include natural burials, public and private mausolea, ash burials, ash vaults and ash scattering, which are readily available at the cemetery. Vault body burials may also be considered and would be new to the cemetery.
Public consultation closes on 2 April 2019. Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/haveyoursay to find out more, or attend one of the public drop-in sessions at the Kelston Community Centre on 9 March 2019 between 12pm-2pm and 25 March 2019 between 3.30pm-7.30pm.