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Plots, Cremation & MemorialsTakotoranga, Tahutanga me ngā Whakamaumaharatanga

New plots

New burial plots are available at all four cemeteries, with the option of two interments in one plot. For baby graves, Hastings and Havelock North cemeteries have children’s memorial gardens. All burial areas, with the exception of the Muslim burial area at Mangaroa Cemetery, accept all religions and non-religious burials.

Graves can be re-opened on request for the burial of the next-of-kin or a person nominated by the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial for the given plot.

All graves are dug by cemetery staff and presented funeral-ready. Putlogs and webbing (often referred to as sticks and straps) are provided for lowering the coffin.  If a lowering device (a mechanical means of lowering the coffin) is required, your funeral director will be able to supply this service.

Pre-purchasing plots and memorials - Not available until further notice

Plot maintenance and rules

When people buy a burial or ash interment plot they are buying a “right of burial” into the plot only.

The land is still owned and operated by Hastings District Council, and as such there are limits to what adornments are allowed and where they can be placed.

The council bylaw states the addition of any items, such as decorative displays (eg. glass or pottery jars or vases), that might cause health and safety issues for people, are prohibited.

Maintenance staff work hard to maintain and keep an eye on adornments, but can remove these items if they are deemed to be a health and safety hazard.

If they need to be removed, staff try to contact the family in advance.

It is up to burial plot owners/family to maintain any headstone and plaque that they own at the site.

Due to health and safety requirements and the safety of members of the public visiting the facilities, however, no person is allowed to undertake any work in a cemetery or the grounds of a crematorium without approval, which includes planting of any kind.  

Cemetery gardens are maintained by cemetery staff to keep the grounds tidy and orderly.

Cremation memorial and burial of ashes

A number of options for ashes burial or placements are available at some or all of Council’s four cemeteries (view the fees and charges page for prices). These are:

  • Cemetery shrub garden – suitable for up to two sets of ashes
  • Cemetery rose garden - suitable for up to six sets of ashes
  • Ashes headstone plot – suitable for up to four sets of ashes
  • Ashes kerb plot
  • Columbarium niche
  • Granite columbarium – suitable for up to two sets of ashes
  • Above ground ashes vault – suitable for up to two sets of ashes
  • Cremation burial plaques plot – suitable for up to two sets of ashes
  • Addition to an existing grave

Where a loved one’s ashes have been scattered in the grounds or elsewhere, remembrance plaques are also available. These include:

  • Memorial bench plaques
  • Granite memorial book plaque (only available at Hastings Cemetery)

Organising your own cremation

While most funerals are arranged by a funeral director, this is not a legal requirement. If you wish to arrange a funeral there are a few legal requirements for the cremation to proceed at our Hawke's Bay Crematorium.

Complete and bring with you the required forms, available in the 'related documents' section at the bottom of this page.

Forms A, B, F and H must be completed.

  • Application for Cremation - Form A. This form must be completed in full by the applicant and then signed and witnessed by a third party who knows the applicant.
  • Certificate of Medical Practitioner - Form B. This form is issued by the doctor who pronounces death. The doctor may charge for this service. If the deceased is subject to a post mortem Coronial Services will liaise with the family directly.
  • Permission to Cremate - Form F. The applicant must complete the details of the deceased (first 3 questions). Forms (1) to (4) inclusive must then be taken to a medical referee for signing. Please note, the same doctor cannot sign the Certificate of Medical Practitioner and the Permission to Cremate form.
  • Register of Cremation - Form H. This form must be completed by the applicant.

You will also need to arrange the following:

  • A copy of photographic identification for the person to be invoiced for the cremation.
  • A rigid, lined casket/coffin bearing the full name of the deceased. The coffin must be lined with a leak-proof membrane. The overall dimensions of the coffin must not exceed 800mm wide, 500mm deep and 2100mm long.
  • Please note, if a coffin plaque is used this will not be returned as it will be cremated with the deceased.
  • Transportation of the deceased to the crematorium with two able-bodied people to assist with the transfer of the deceased from the vehicle into the crematory.
  • Written confirmation of the date and time for the return of ashes to the family. Ashes must be uplifted from the crematorium office.
  • A copy of photographic identification of the person approved to uplift the ashes.

Please note, the deceased cannot be delivered to the crematory out of work hours. Overtime fees may apply to certain times and days

Medical referees

The following local medical referees are able to sign the Permission to Cremate form.

A medical referee will not sign the Permission to Cremate form if all the forms are not correctly completed or if they have any cause to suspect wrongdoing.

All medical referees are working doctors so an appointment will be necessary to process the paperwork.

While the cost of the medical referee signature is included in the cremation fee, the medical referee may charge for their time.

Name  Location  Phone
Dr Jones Hastings +64 6 8738522
Dr Bevin Napier +64 6 8432320

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