Grave decorations at Palmerston North’s Kelvin Grove Cemetery are going to be allowed, with the city council about to remove restrictions from its rule book.
Stuff.NZ reports the Palmerston North council is next week expected to approve changing the Cemeteries and Crematorium Bylaw to reflect the diversity of grave decorating already happening.
About 100 graves in the lawn cemetery have been decorated with plantings, gardens and other structures.
City councillor Lorna Johnson said the increase in people wanting to decorate graves reflected changes happening in society.
The community was increasingly diverse, ethnically and culturally, and different people wanted to express their grief in a variety of ways.
It was appropriate for the council to take a liberal view, she said.
“Society does not remain the same.
“What was considered the stiff-upper-lip approach of 50 years ago has changed.”
The council received 27 submissions on its proposal to relax the rules.
Some people wanted the cemetery to remain a lawn cemetery and others were concerned the lack of controls would make it seem garish.
Kelvin Grove Cemetery is Palmerston North's main cemetery, providing cremation and burial services to the city and its surrounding districts. It is set on 36 hectares of land, 7km from the central business district. It has a chapel that can be hired for memorial and committal services and a memorial garden.
The cemetery was opened in 1927 to replace the old Terrace End Cemetery on Napier Road. The crematorium and chapel were added in 1954. A modern gas-fired cremator was installed in 2003.
The cemetery performs about 180 burials and 400 cremations each year.