A decision to charge more to cremate overweight caskets has been pushed back by Hastings District Council.

Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the proposal needed to be considered carefully and the community needed to be included in the decision, therefore recommended it be pushed back.

The council voted unanimously to defer the decision, without any discussion.

The proposal would mean the families with deceased, overweight relatives would have to pay $900 to cremate them - the regular $700 fee for cremation and an additional $200 charge.

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It would affect caskets weighing more than 150kg. A Hastings District Council spokesperson said it had cremated between six and eight overweight caskets in the last year.

It takes about 4.5-5.5 hours to cremate an overweight casket, with a casket weighing under 150kg taking about 2.5 hours to cremate.

The issue was first raised at a meeting of the Hawke's Bay Crematorium Committee in December, where committee members asked council officers to investigate the possibility of charging extra for oversized caskets.