News, Events and Culture

Headstones can now be Higher

Tuesday September 1 2009

Councillors at the Planning and Policy Committee meeting today approved the increase from 762mm to 1000mm (one metre) following a recommendation from Leisure Assets Officer, Brian Way.

Earlier this year the Council reviewed the cemetery bylaw with particular reference to the headstone specifications and sought feedback from the community. From submissions received Brian says there is general acceptance of the proposed headstone heights.

Now the increase has been approved, all headstones currently within the cemeteries can be legitimised

The committee also approved the increase in the height of headstones in the children's cemetery and cremation (ash) plots from 457mm to 500mm (half a metre).

The feedback from the public extended to the decoration of graves. This refers to the area of grass in front of the headstone which is sometimes decorated with flowers and other ornamentation.
In relation to the children's lawn cemetery, the committee approved permanent planting or decoration of the full plot area with the plots planted or decorated being maintained by family.

In the main lawn cemetery, grave decoration will be allowed for up to 12 months before it is required to be removed. The Council will contact a small number of families whose decorated graves have existed longer than 12 months to explain the bylaw.

The committee further recommended that the City Council CEO report back to them by October 2009 on ways in which the cultural diversity of residents can be provided for with respect to the decoration of graves.

By approving the recommendations the committee adopted the draft Palmerston North Cemeteries and Crematorium Bylaw 2008.
The recommendations now go to the full Council meeting later this month.