Wellington City councillor Fleur Fitzsimons said the council needed to start planning for the future immediately, after the release of a report into the state of the city's burial sites. Teh report indicates the city's cremation and burial resources are at a breaking point.

Stuff.co.nz reports the assessment comes as burials and cremations are expected to almost double over the next two decades, meaning new space needs to be found quickly.

Cross with graves, Karori CemeteryCross with graves, Karori Cemetery

Clr Fitzsimons is quoted as saying  "This may mean the council needs to budget for increased expenditure on cemeteries in its next long-term plan, so it's important that planning gets under way now."

According to a paper which will be presented to councillors on Thursday, the city council's cemetery management plan, including mapping, is 16 years old and significantly out of date.

A review will be carried out to look at ways of coping with future demand and accommodating the evolving public expectations of cemetery facilities.

"Cemeteries are increasingly places people like to visit for reasons other than mourning and remembrance," the report said.

Karori Cemetery has been accepting burials since 1891 but has no space left for new interments - outside of existing family plots. It has limited spaces remaining for ash plots.

Makara Cemetery was more than half full by 2018 and is expected to be at capacity by about 2038, though some denominational areas are forecast to fill up sooner.


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