Cemetery that's in easy reach requested

By Lawrence Gullery


When you are dead, are you going to worry about where you're buried?

Apparently, Hastings people are concerned about where their final resting place will be but more for the benefit of their loved ones left behind who may wish to visit from time to time.

Demand for more choice in burial plots has prompted the Hastings District Council to look for a new cemetery and it has set aside $1 million in its long-term plan for the project.

The Havelock North Cemetery is full and the Hastings cemetery on Orchard Rd has about 60 plots remaining.

Plenty of room for customers is still on offer at the Mangaroa cemetery, south of Hastings city, but for some it is too far to travel to make regular visits.

The Hawke's Bay Crematorium Committee is meeting today to review criteria needed to establish a new cemetery site.

Chairperson Margaret Twigg said the problem of finding a new cemetery had been an issue during her 11 years on the council.

"We've looked at various sites but never settled. Now there seems to be a demand for choice and it is something the committee needs to look at again," Cr Twigg said.

"We will look at existing cemeteries to see if there is scope to add some new plots. Havelock North is full but people there have been asking councillors for something [cemetery or more plots] closer to home," she said.

No decision had been made on where a new cemetery could be placed but the matter was up for public comment through the long-term plan review this year.

"We have been looking at all the options - obviously we can't use good land - and now the issue has come back to the surface as people look for more options, that's the feedback we're getting," she said.

Terry Longley, who runs funeral services in Hastings and Havelock North, presented to the council in 2010 on the Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park in Australia, which was a natural bushland cemetery planted with native species.

No monuments were permitted but each grave was marked by a flat bronze plaque.

This week, after hearing of the plan to find a new cemetery, he said he hoped the council would consider the ideas and concepts he discovered at Pinnaroo.

"We've presented our idea to the council and we hope they will take it on board when they look at the layout of their cemeteries," Mr Longley said.

"There is a lot that can be done to the older cemeteries to make more plots available ... I'll certainly be following it."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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