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City Needs New Cemetery

26 January 2001

A new Christchurch cemetery will cost the City Council about $1.4 million for the site and another $167,000 in development costs.

The need is urgent says a Council report and the money will be made available in the present and next financial years.

When established, the new cemetery will bring the city's total to 10 operating cemeteries with three closed and historic ones.

The Council has drawn up a cemeteries enhancement programme for the next five years and a report says the programme will ensure that the most urgent areas are attended to first and on-going programmes can be targeted to meet changing cemetery needs.

"There is the urgent need to purchase a new cemetery site," says the report's author, Richard Holland, of the Parks and Waterways Unit.

As well as the $1.4 million being set aside over two years, more than $40,000 will be spent in each year for four years from the next financial year on developing the new cemetery.

He says that due to public perceptions of "lower than desirable levels of service in the amenity and landscape quality of the cemeteries" an additional $100,000 has been allocated for the next five years for cemetery improvements.

The report also recommends that: * The provision of family tombs and headstones is explored. * Future cemetery design focuses on park-like landscaping. * Memorial garden cemeteries (known as Eden Gardens) with shrubs and trees rather than tombstones be investigated. * Investigations are made into the provision of a memorial garden type cemetery on the Port Hills. * Taskforce Green workers are used to restore headstones and other cemetery work.

The Addington, Barbadoes Street, and Woolston cemeteries are closed. The city's six community boards are now studying the report to determine work needed in cemeteries in their districts.


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