Whanganui's new $400,000 cremator is now operational as the Whanganui District Council seeks a renewal of its resource consent.

The council bought the new cremator last year. It arrived at Aramoho Cemetery in September and has been operational since before Christmas.

Council facilities management officer Peter Tantrum said the old cremator was in need of major repairs but some parts were becoming obsolete and it was time for a renewal.

The new one was also larger and more efficient, he said.

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Chief executive Kym Fell said it was a big investment "but it was well overdue".

While the new facility was being commissioned Whanganui funeral directors were using a cremator in Palmerston North for cremation.

Whanganui and Palmerston North have a reciprocal service if either facility is out of action.

Meanwhile, the council's resource consent to discharge emissions to air from the cremator expires this year.

And new consent application has been lodged with Horizons Regional Council and is expected to be approved shortly.

"The actual quality of the air coming out, the emissions, is by far superior (with the new cremator)," Fell said.