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Council told to think again on ash scattering



Ethnic Affairs Spokesperson

Council told to think again on ash scattering

Plans to make grieving families seek permission before scattering the ashes of loved ones and charge them for the privilege need to be reconsidered, Labour’s Ethnic Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff says.

“Auckland Council’s proposals seem heavy handed, unnecessary and bureaucratic.

“There has been insufficient consultation with the public and in particular with ethnic communities before proposing the restrictions. Nor has the council made a solid case for why the restrictions are necessary.

“There are no health considerations because cremations are carried out at 800 degree temperatures and families almost always conduct the scattering of their loved ones ashes with care and consideration.

“The last thing we want to impose on grieving families are bureaucratic procedures, long time delays and additional expenses.

“I understand that in former Council areas like Waitakere, Papakura and Frankton there were no restrictions imposed for the scattering of ashes and I have yet to see any evidence of this causing any widespread problem.

“The Council also seems unaware of Hindu customs about the importance of scattering ashes within a time period after cremation and the impact such restrictions would have on their community.

“I have also been made aware of another important and unnecessary restriction of preventing more than two people attending the placing of the casket in the cremator. This cuts across Indian Hindu cultural tradition where all the deceased’s male children are normally involved.

“I have written to the Mayor asking for the Council to think again. At the very least the Council should consult widely with the public, ethnic organisations and religious and cultural groups before they make any final decision. The present Council decision is more likely to create problems than resolve any,” Phil Goff says.

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