There is an interesting article in about Auckland City Council's (NZ) effect on cemetery services as it moves to centralize burial and allocation records. Funeral directors say a change in procedure at Waikaraka Cemetery is causing families unnecessary layers of stress at an already traumatic time.

 Among those affected is a grieving family that had to wait until the day before their stillborn child's funeral to learn if there was room in the cemetery. The delay is a result of Waikaraka Cemetery's administration office being moved off-site. J Weir Funeral Services director Nick Bakulich says the move to shut the office has led to families waiting to find out crucial information required for the planning of funerals.

Mr. Bakulich says, "We need someone with intimate knowledge, the last thing a family want to stress about is whether there is a plot available." He also has concerns around the beleaguered Waikumete taking over the records of another cemetery. The West Auckland cemetery is in the process of cleaning up after contractors accidentally dug up three rows of stillborn and baby graves. Why award it to a place that's badly managed?"

Auckland Council manages 53 cemeteries across Auckland and only the three larger cemeteries have on-site staff.

The article's worth a read. Click here...