Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Auckland Council’s proposed bylaw on burials and cremation

Statement from Multicultural New Zealand on the Auckland Council’s proposed bylaw on burials and cremation

Multicultural New Zealand has written to the Mayor of Auckland expressing our extreme concern about aspects of the proposed Auckland Council Cemeteries and Crematoria By-Law.

We are aware that submissions have now closed, but the proposal was not brought to our intention until now and one of our key concerns is that the Committee did not actively seek the views of diverse religious and cultural groups before publishing its proposals.

In fact, the discussion document barely makes mention of the religious and cultural issues that are of concern to the groups that we represent. It simply asserts that the Bill of Rights provisions in relation to religious and cultural rights are not breached by the proposal, without any discussion. We would have expected that at the very least, Council officers would have consulted with the Council’s own Pacific and Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panels in addition to the Maori Statutory Board, and also with key external stakeholders such as the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, the Office of Ethnic Affairs, the Auckland Interfaith Council, the Hindu Council of New Zealand, the Federation of Islamic Associations and the New Zealand Jewish Council to name only some key representative bodies.

The absence of such prior consultation is evident in the almost total lack of reference to the impact of the proposals on religious and cultural minorities. We would have expected more from the Auckland Council, which represents by far the most diverse population in New Zealand.

We are supportive of the attempts to achieve consistency across the Auckland region in relation to cemeteries and crematoria, but this should not be at the expense of basic freedoms of religion and culture and nor impose unnecessary restrictions on their practice.

The Law Commission recently published a discussion document on the legal framework for burials and cremation, and Multicultural New Zealand made a submission to the Commission on that review. Among the key points we made were that:

1. The law governing burials and cremations should contain a requirement for local authorities to consult with ethnic communities and make reasonable provision for their needs in terms of setting aside special areas if desired and providing for cultural practices, including more flexible opening hours.

2. In relation to the dispersal of ashes following cremation, there should be a requirement on local authorities to provide in their plans and operations for the cultural practices and requirements of diverse communities as well as the concerns of tangata whenua in relation to particular places including waterways.

We also provided more detailed information about Hindu practices in relation to burials, cremation and the scattering of ashes, which the proposed Auckland by-law clearly impedes.

Given that the Law Commission report was widely distributed to councils and communities, we are surprised that the Council’s discussion document does not even make reference to the religious and cultural issues raised in it.

We respectfully request that the Council takes further active steps to consult religious and cultural communities before coming to a decision on the proposed by-law. We look to the Council to lead New Zealand with best practice with regard to cultural diversity.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

CPAG: Government Spends Over $100K Pursuing Beneficiary

For the past fifteen years, Kathryn, now in her fifties and living alone with chronic ill health on a benefit, has been challenging the decision by the MSD that she has to pay back $117,000. She has no assets or savings and cannot afford to pay for fresh food or therapy that would improve her health. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: National’s Cuts Shave $100K Off KiwiSaver By Retirement

New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says... Since coming to office it has made five separate cuts to the scheme." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Transport Operators Switch From SuperGold To AT HOP Cards

Seniors using Auckland’s public transport will need to use their AT HOP cards from today but Auckland Transport has requested its operators to show understanding for those customers yet to complete the switch from SuperGold cards. More>>

ALSO:

Crime Stats: Burglary Up 11.9%

“While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase of more than 10 per cent over the past 12 months, which is of concern to Police and something we are determined to tackle,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Help: Lifeline Aotearoa Fighting For Survival

Lifeline Aotearoa has announced it only has enough money to run for one more year. By 30 June 2017, all available sustainability reserves and funds from a new mortgage on its Auckland property will be exhausted. More>>

ALSO:

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news