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Chapel closed while new cremator installed


A new cremator is about to be installed at the Hawke's Bay Chapel and Crematorium. It will enable more cremations to occur and can readily accommodate larger people – all part of improving the service offered for the region, said cemeteries manager Garry Bowles.

Staff at the facility have put plans in place to ensure as little disruption as possible to the public while the changeover takes place from Monday (Sept 21).

Funeral directors have been advised that the chapel will be closed next week because of construction noise, and of the alternative cremation arrangements organised for the period of installation.

Everything will be back to normal by Friday 25 September, said Mr Bowles.

A small blessing of the new cremator is being organised for the Friday morning.

Mr Bowles said the old cremator had been due some quite serious maintenance work, and the cost of that was comparable with buying the new larger model.

Once decommissioned, it may be offered as parts to providers who have the same model. Any money raised will be added into the crematorium’s income.

The new $280,000 cremator has been paid for out of funds set aside for the purpose.

An update on the installation of the cremator was provided to the Hawke’s Bay Crematorium Committee on Friday. That committee is made up of representatives of the Hastings, Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay councils.

It also received a report on the plans to rebuild the chapel and crematorium, a project triggered by earthquake risk assessments that found the buildings were not at an acceptable standard.

The committee agreed to slightly reduce the floor size, the height of the building, and change the cladding and roofing material to bring the price down to an estimated $1 million from $1.22m.

The new chapel would still fit considerably more mourners than the current chapel, 100 compare to 80, while many more mourners could be accommodated in the adjoining covered deck area .

The committee was also approaching the three councils for a one off capital contribution to put towards the cost, with all three councils due to consider the request within the next few weeks. Central Hawke’s Bay is being asked for $10,000, Napier for $40,000 and Hastings for between $150,000 and $250,000. Those figures reflect the amount of use made of the facility by the residents of each of the regions.

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