Burial laws

October 6th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The has released a raft of proposals as part of the first full review of burial and cremation laws for almost 50 years. They include stricter controls on funeral directors, allowing private firms to run cemeteries and letting the bereaved bury loved ones on family land.

The latter proposal was aimed mainly at those with a farm or similar who could demonstrate it would stay in the family for generations, lead commissioner Dr Wayne Mapp said.

“A national standard would set out minimum standards you would expect when a person was buried,” Dr Mapp said.

“My personal preference is there to be a separate title for an area of land [for burial], but I can understand it might be sufficient for it to be noted on the title of the land.”

Funeral Directors Association president Eion McKinnon supported the shake-up, saying many of the current laws were “archaic”.

 Mark Blackham, founder of the Natural funeral service, backed the possibility of change.

“It means all manner of people, in all manner of places, would be able to set up their own cemeteries. Our surveys have shown that around about a third of New Zealanders would do [natural burials] if it was available.”

Sounds a good proposed change to me.

Wellington City Council was concerned about permitting burials on private land, highlighting issues around maintenance and accountability.

“There has to be strict controls in place,” a spokesman said. “There’s a terrifying possibility of people just being able to … dig a hole and put granny in it and put some flowers in it. It raises all sorts of obvious questions about procedure.”

Silly scaremongering. Councils like monopolies.

Mind you my personal preference is to be buried in the Bolton Cemetery in Wellington. Just need to get it re-opened!

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34 Responses to “Burial laws”

  1. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    Oh no, not The Law Commission again.

    The farce of “Cyber bullying”, media regulation, and now burials.

    Don’t these people ever stop interfering?

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  2. Dennis Horne (2,059 comments) says:

    What will happen to you when you fall out of your tree, RedButt?

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  3. thor42 (780 comments) says:

    Oh, gee…. the “terrifying possibility” of people digging holes and putting granny in it – *just as they do now with pets!* What’s the difference?

    My mother wants to have an “eco-burial” when she passes away but the nearest company that does them is a couple of hundred km from where she is.

    This law change is LONG overdue. It will mean lower burial costs and that will be good for everyone.

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  4. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    The problem of relatives steeling bodies under tikanga and ignoring the wishes of the dead person and close family is one that needs to be addressed.

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  5. Michael (880 comments) says:

    The idea of a permanent grave doesn’t interest me. Nor being cremated and scattered or kept in a vault.

    My preference would be to buried within a reserve that is being regenerated into a natural bush environment, without any preservation or fancy coffin. My remains would break down and provide some of the nutrients needed for the bush. At the moment, that option is not available to me. The closest is a ‘natural’ grave in a cemetery with a tree plonked on top.

    I’m sure I’m not alone.

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  6. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    “There’s a terrifying possibility of people just being able to … dig a hole and put granny in it and put some flowers in it.

    There is nothing wrong with that if that’s what Granny wanted.

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  7. hj (5,720 comments) says:

    I’d like to see burial places become parks with headstones as simple plaques on cliff faces (for example) with well defined walkways etc.
    I don’t see why they should be negative and dreary or prone to vandalism.

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  8. gump (1,232 comments) says:

    If the landowner is willing to accept the consequences of burial on their land, then they shouldn’t be stopped from giving permission to do so.

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  9. hj (5,720 comments) says:

    Silly scaremongering. Councils like monopolies.
    ………………………….
    Rubbish those are valid concerns.

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  10. OneTrack (1,985 comments) says:

    “The problem of relatives steeling bodies under tikanga and ignoring the wishes of the dead person and close family is one that needs to be addressed”

    It doesn’t look like this issue is being addressed as part of these proposals. If it was, it would probably be in favour of the tribe anyway.

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  11. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “If the landowner is willing to accept the consequences of burial on their land, then they shouldn’t be stopped from giving permission to do so.”

    What we need to happen now is for each of the sections on either side of Gump’s house to be converted into burial plots.

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  12. hj (5,720 comments) says:

    What we need to happen now is for each of the sections on either side of Gump’s house to be converted into burial plots.
    …………………………..
    don’t have to go far to detect morbid superstition about the dead and death.
    Burial should be a celebration of living.

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  13. Paulus (2,304 comments) says:

    Will one now be able bury somebody in the berms in Auckland ?
    As long as you cut the grass.

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  14. Fisiani (861 comments) says:

    I hear that Cunliffe has asked to be lain in a tomb for three days then emerge to his rightful place.

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  15. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    Are they going to allow open pyres outside the city walls?
    If they don’t that is discriminating against people who want a traditional Greek or Roman cremation.

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  16. holysheet (196 comments) says:

    What about the hindu’s who want to be cremated on a raft and float down the Waikato. Opps sorry, all the bloody jaffas will complain about the polluted water their council takes from the waikato river.

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  17. Ricardo (53 comments) says:

    I still like the old way of being sewn into your hammock, weighed down with a cannon ball, then slipped over the side from under the flag after a few words from the Captain. Burial at sea, short ceremony, no mess, no weeping and wailing mourners.

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  18. MT_Tinman (2,795 comments) says:

    The only request I have regarding the disposal of my body is that they wait until I’m dead before commencement.

    I figure whoever is doing the deciding will carefully consider my wishes then do exactly as they want to do.

    It won’t worry me, I won’t be there.

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  19. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Why do I have the feeling this is going to turn into a religious debate…

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  20. kowtow (6,734 comments) says:

    holysheet

    A few years back there was a bit of controversy about a Hindu who managed to have an open air cremation in Britain.But I won’t be fully convinced Britain is truly “multicultural” until they get to throw the missus in too.

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  21. kowtow (6,734 comments) says:

    ricardo

    Needle through the nose?

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  22. Ricardo (53 comments) says:

    Hi Kowtow. Wasn’t that to check for sure that the corpse was in fact a corpse?

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  23. kowtow (6,734 comments) says:

    ricardo

    I believe so. Depicted very well in the movie Master and Commander.

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  24. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    My m8s at the station have agreed to give my corpse a pair of concrete gumboots and take the sorry mess out to the heads and thats it.

    With m8s like that, it seems settled.

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  25. Steve (North Shore) (4,330 comments) says:

    What about the hindu’s who want to be cremated on a raft and float down the Waikato. Opps sorry, all the bloody jaffas will complain about the polluted water their council takes from the waikato river.

    Taniwha will take care of that, with a shitload of KOHA

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  26. Fisiani (861 comments) says:

    The Cunliffe can never die. He is immortal.

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  27. UrbanNeocolonialist (136 comments) says:

    No reason to restrict burials, so long as a register of burial locations is kept, and every body should have something enduring dog-tags attached with brief details of person name and date to reduce confusion and work if accidentally un-earthed at a later date.

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  28. RRM (8,997 comments) says:
    “There has to be strict controls in place,” a spokesman said. “There’s a terrifying possibility of people just being able to … dig a hole and put granny in it and put some flowers in it. It raises all sorts of obvious questions about procedure.”

    Silly scaremongering. Councils like monopolies.

    With all due respect DPF I don’t think that’s silly at all.

    I dug a hole in my front lawn 3 weeks ago, and buried my babies’ placenta in it, and then we planted an apple tree on top.

    It wasn’t an especially deep hole, but it wasn’t nothing either.

    When I dug the hole I wasn’t even slightly concerned about the possibility of digging up a previous owner’s granny.

    I really really wouldn’t want to dig up a previous owner’s granny. :-(

    [DPF: Just bury the grannies nice and deep and you're fine!]

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  29. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Doesn’t the pathetic failed socialist Palmer have an association with the Commission?

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  30. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    ‘Natural’ burials need an associated law change that if you are excavating and find some old bones, they can just be dropped into another hole somewhere else with minimal fuss. Otherwise it is creating too many costs for somebody in the future.

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  31. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    It makes sense to have guidelines that can be used to help prevent causing harm to others.
    If careless burial practices allow the spread of disease, obviously they should be avoided.
    Respectful practice should also be encouraged, so as to help protect emotional wellbeing.

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  32. gump (1,232 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    “What we need to happen now is for each of the sections on either side of Gump’s house to be converted into burial plots.”

    ————————

    I already live beside a rather pretty and peaceful church cemetery in Parnell.

    The dead make wonderful neighbors. No loud parties, no building or construction work, and no barking dogs.

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  33. Dazzaman (1,114 comments) says:

    Griff
    The problem of relatives steeling bodies under tikanga and ignoring the wishes of the dead person and close family is one that needs to be addressed.

    Steeling a body…..I don’t think there’s any tikanga about that Griff.

    Seriously, that sort of carry on is rare as hens teeth. But it is Griff, Maori hater & AGW nutjob all rolled into one. Love it!

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  34. Antarg (38 comments) says:

    There’s been some reported cases in the US recently where people have been revived after ~45min.
    Would it be a good idea to have something in the guidelines about waiting a day or so after the heart has stopped before declaring someone dead?

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