Frequently Asked Cemetery Questions

Who’s responsibility is it to look after/maintain headstones?
The upkeep of headstones and memorials is the responsibility of the family.

What is the process for getting a headstone installed?
A headstone permit is required from the Tararua District Council prior to the erection of any monument, memorial, headstone, foundation or any other structure.

What can headstones be made of?
Each erected memorial shall be constructed of a material that will not deteriorate over time.

Can we transfer reserved plots to others if we no longer require them?
Yes you can. The Council will need a letter from you stating who you are wanting the plot to go to and also your copy of the agreement will need to be returned and a new one created.

Can I choose a plot?
Yes you can choose a plot in most Cemeteries.

How many coffins can be buried in one plot?
Up to two coffins can be buried in a single plot.

How many ashes can be interred in an ashes plot?
Up to two urns.

Can I inter ashes in a burial plot when someone is already buried there?
In most cases this is possible.

Where can I find information on Cemetery Bylaws?
Cemeteries Bylaw 2018 (PDF file, 532.3 KB)

Can I bury someone myself?
No other person than the Sexton or assistants of the Sexton or any other person duly authorised by the Council shall dig any grave in, or open the ground for burial in, any part of the cemetery (page 2 of the Bylaw linked above).

Can I be buried in a plot owned by someone else?
Yes, you can, as long as we have a copy of their written permission.

Can we dig the grave?
No, under current regulations only Council Staff are authorised to dig graves in any of our Cemeteries.

Can I bury my pet in the Cemetery?
No, animals can not be buried in our Cemeteries.

Can I place ornaments and decorations on the headstone?
Yes, decorations placed on the concrete berm or headstone are permitted.

Can I place ornaments and decorations on the grave?
Temporarily, yes.  Fresh flower arrangements and small decorations can be left on the soil of a new grave immediately after burial.  Maintenance staff will remove these flowers and decorations once they being to deteriorate

Can I create a border or enclosure over the grave?
No, nothing permanent should be placed on the grave as it will hinder cemetery maintenance, become a hazard to other visitors and affect future burials.