The costs of burial plots and grave digging could rise by hundreds of dollars at some Auckland cemeteries.

The largest fee increases proposed by the Auckland Council affect Waiheke Island and Great Barrier Island.

The burial interment fee on Great Barrier Island's cemetery goes from the present no charge to $1350.

The biggest rise proposed for adult burial plot fees is by $572 to $2000 on Waiheke Island.

Advertisement

At Manukau Memorial Gardens it could go up by $536 to $4000.

The fee for scattering ashes in a cemetery will be $52.

In a proposal to tomorrow's council budget committee meeting, Mayor Len Brown says the intention is to "harmonise" the fees and recover costs through the pricing structure.

"I believe it is appropriate and that the ratepayer should not be subsidising these activities," says Mr Brown.

The plan, by council staff, aims to get regional consistency in fees for burial or ash plots, interment (digging) and hire charges for facilities such as chapels and function lounges.

The present fee structure varies because it was set under the policies of seven councils before they merged in 2010.

Great Barrier Local Board chairman Izzy Fordham said no fees had been charged "for donkey's years" at the island's Gooseberry Flat cemetery and now the cost of the service was being asked.

"I don't know the effect it will have on island folk.

Advertisement

"But it is a low socio-economic area and increases make it really difficult."

Funeral director Richard Melville, of J. Weir & Co, said the bid to have the same charges throughout the region was unfortunate.

"It's a sign of the times - a move away from a service that communities offered to what the bureaucrats call putting things on a commercial footing.

"It's tough on people who are struggling, and there's no way of assistance for them as far as the council is concerned."

Mr Melville said the Government provided funeral grants of up to $1998 to cover burial, plot and cremation charges.

"However, it does not help a lot of those people whose culture requires a burial."

The council said some fees might decrease because the proposal seeks to smooth out anomalies in charges.

An example was the fees for burial plots in the child area of cemeteries at Helensville, Wainui and Puhoi.

Plots there now cost $2837 and the proposed charge at all council cemeteries will be from $400 to $1000, depending on the age of the child.