Want to be buried in Auckland? You may have to join a queue

Having a burial plot all to yourself is set to become a luxury in Auckland as the Council scrambles for more space.

Auckland will run out of room for graves at two of its three main cemeteries within four years, and will spend up to $46.5 million to acquire and develop land for more burial plots.

A report will be presented to Auckland Council’s parks committee when it meets on Tuesday outlining the future demand for burials and storage of ashes.

The report reveals that, based on 2006 Census data, North Shore Memorial Park and Waikumete Cemetery will run out of burial space for bodies by 2019. Manukau Memorial Gardens will run out of space for bodies in 2035.

According to the report, 70 per cent of people in New Zealand favour burial over cremation, but a changing demographic in Auckland will see a shift in preferences.

Perhaps it’s time we put them in the ground vertically. ?

“The majority of the Asian populations favour cremation, so as the Asian population increases so will the demand for cremations,” the report said.

“Auckland also has the biggest Pacific population outside the Pacific Islands.

Currently it is a very young population but as [it] grows older over the next 30 to 40 years there will be an increase in demand on cemetery burial services as this group traditionally prefer burial over cremation.”

Auckland cemeteries manager Catherine Moore said that under the Burials and Cremations Act 1964, the council had a statutory requirement to ensure there is enough space across the region to provide enough burial space for its population.

It also needed to factor in what the community wanted and needed in its cemeteries, for example, increasingly popular eco-burial areas.

In the draft Long Term Plan 2015-2025, $46.5 million has been set aside for cemeteries.

Of that, $5.5 million will be used to develop unused land at North Shore Memorial Park. The remaining $41 million will be used to extend burial areas at Waikumete Cemetery and to acquire land for a new cemetery in the northwest of the city.

Additional land will also be bought next to the Manukau Memorial Gardens.

What’s your preference? ?And why?