Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Misery-makers should bury their proposal

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Auckland Regulatory and Bylaws Committee chairman Calum Penrose is urging people to attend a hearing on the matter in two weeks. Photo / APN
Auckland Regulatory and Bylaws Committee chairman Calum Penrose is urging people to attend a hearing on the matter in two weeks. Photo / APN

By crikey, the Auckland Council is made up of a miserable bunch. Councillors are asking the public to comment on a proposed bylaw that would make it illegal for people to scatter their loved one's ashes in public places unless they have written approval and have paid the council an "applicable fee".

How mean can you get? If people want to take Dad out to sea and leave his ashes at his favourite fishing spot, if Mum has asked for her ashes to be strewn around the putting green where she scored her hole-in-one, if your husband wants to be released to the four winds and carried to every corner of the Earth, what business is it of councillors and how can they have the temerity to suggest that people must pay for the privilege?

Auckland Regulatory and Bylaws Committee chairman Calum Penrose is adamant that the council hasn't made a decision yet and is urging people to attend a hearing on the matter in two weeks.

But even suggesting a charge is absurd. Where is the cost incurred by council? Certainly, maintaining cemeteries is an expensive business and I have no problem with the council charging people to rent ground space for their loved ones.

But if you've gone from ashes to ashes, dust to dust, you're not taking up much room on the planet. You will be absorbed back into the environment and thus the cycle of life continues.

The council has no viable reason for even thinking of charging families for the right to scatter their loved one's ashes. People who called me on talkback on the topic were unanimous that it was a ridiculous proposal and some suggested ways of thwarting the council.

Two callers had had their loved ones mixed with paint and turned into art works that hung on the walls of their home.

Another had turned her husband into a coloured glass paperweight. One woman had her mum's ashes put into a small urn and buried in a large planter pot with a beautiful rose bush.

I found the perfect resting place for my husband years ago. I had seen an article on a company that turned locks of hair and cremated ashes into diamonds and I thought that would be the perfect solution for what to do with Tom.

I would have him crafted into a gorgeous diamond, hang him at the end of a gold chain and he could nestle between my boobs forever more.

Win-win for both of us and, best of all, the council won't be clipping the ticket beyond the grave.

Kerre McIvor is on Newstalk ZB, Monday to Thursday, 8pm-midnight

- Herald on Sunday

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