Burial laws

The Herald reports:

The Law Commission 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 Burials 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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