Cemetery land required this year


The Whakatāne District Council’s hunt for suitable land to establish a new cemetery has so far been unsuccessful.

Hillcrest Cemetery
Photo: LDR / Diane McCarthy

The council announced through local media in March that it was looking for land to buy for a new cemetery and asked landowners to come forward if they had suitable land available.

He estimates that the Whakatāne District Main Cemetery in Hillcrest has room for 550 more burials and expects it to reach full capacity by 2028.

To meet the needs of the community over the next 100 years, the council is ideally looking for 11-17 hectares of mostly flat or hilly land within a 10-15 minute drive of downtown Whakatāne. “It is important that the land is not flood prone and therefore elevated and away from the coast,” said general manager of community experience Georgina Fletcher.

While Hillcrest is just one of six cemeteries administered by the council, Fletcher said the others were rural cemeteries, limited in size and further removed from the main population of the district, and therefore not suitable as alternatives a once the Hillcrest Cemetery has reached capacity.

The new cemetery is also expected to provide natural burial options, which were recently offered at Hillcrest.

In a report to the Projects and Services Committee yesterday, received at a meeting yesterday, Fletcher said no suitable new site had been proposed following the publicity exercise and the council was still looking for land options.

With the help of Veros Specialist Land Agents, two interested parties were identified, but further discussions determined that neither option was viable. The council had also considered the possibility of using common land, which is currently woodland on the corner of Military Road, but following site surveys in which a number of test pits were dug, it the terrain was determined to be unsuitable due to water. terms.

Council is now considering what the next options might be to ensure land is acquired for a new cemetery in a timely manner.

At yesterday’s meeting, Fletcher urged elected members to use their own contacts to seek other land options. She said that in order for the necessary preparatory work to be completed on time, the land had to be purchased this year.

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