The cost of being buried in Whangarei has gone up.

The biggest burial cost increase is for a burial plot, which has seen a $275 increase.

Whangarei District Council is responsible for three cemeteries - Maunu, Kamo and Onerahi. Whangarei District Council infrastructure general manager Simon Weston says the increase is about trying to reflect the true cost of burials.

"The council maintain well-kept and beautiful cemeteries providing families with special places for them to come and remember their loved ones,'' Mr Weston said.

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"What we are trying to do with these changes is balance the cost of providing this service with the actual costs to ratepayers."

The cost of a burial plot at Maunu and Onerahi, including maintenance, has gone up from $1972 to $2248, an increase of 14 per cent.

Maunu Cemetery is one of three council owned cemeteries in the district. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Maunu Cemetery is one of three council owned cemeteries in the district. Photo/Michael Cunningham

A children's plot has increased by 1.8 per cent at both locations, from $708 to $721. The price of an ashes plot has gone up by a similar level, from $573 to $584 - a 1.9 per cent increase.

Digging costs have also increased, with the cost for a single depth and double depth now the same - $840. Digging a single depth did cost $797 and double depth $834.

A raft of other cemetery-related charges have gone up by small amounts.

The council said the increases were part of a five-year strategy to lift user charges to 60 per cent of actual costs.

In 2015 it determined the public benefit of cemeteries was about 15 per cent, with the remaining benefit going to the users for the internment options.

In contrast, the council estimated it collected 45 per cent of its total cost through fees and charges and rent from the crematorium.

Each year, the charges are increased to make up the overall increase. The latest increase - in line with the third year of the Long Term Plan - puts them more than half the way up.

At the time, the council compared their charges against other council-run cemeteries such as North Shore. It found Whangarei's burial costs, even after the five years of increases, will be lower than the current charge at North Shore.