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Councillors Adopt Cemeteries Bylaw 2023 | Kā Ture Urupā

Proposed changes to a bylaw that sets out how Council aims to care for and maintain the ten operational cemeteries across our district – from Skippers Canyon to Makarora – has been supported by public submissions and Councillors.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) Cemeteries Bylaw 2023 | Kā Ture Urupā was adopted at today’s Full Council meeting and will come into effect on 1 December.

QLDC Community Services General Manager Kenneth Bailey shared the purpose of the bylaw is to set a framework for having a welcoming and accessible space for remembering loved ones.

“We asked the community to consider some minor changes proposed to the previous bylaw which was due for review. These included amendments to definitions, improvements to the readability and flow of the document and alignment with industry best practice,” he said.

“We’ve also strengthened provisions around vehicle use in cemeteries as there have been some issues with people driving across or parking on graves which is not considered to be respectful practice. We’ve also provided clearer definitions around some of our fees, such as the out-of-district internment fee.”

“We’d like to thank those who took the time to share their views on the revised draft bylaw, all of which were in support of the changes.”

Specific changes include:

  • using the terms ‘inter’ or ‘interment’ instead of ‘burial’, as ‘inter’ is the more commonly used industry practice. For the purpose of the draft bylaw, a ‘burial’ is a type of interment, so interment is a broader, more inclusive term.The definitions of ‘memorial’ and ‘monument’ have also been clarified;
  • clarification on the restrictions and regulation of promotional activities within cemeteries;
  • additional wording around the regulation of vehicle use within cemeteries; and
  • further detail around the appointment and function of the cemeteries administrator, the sale of plots, the interment of persons without means, and the installation and maintenance of monuments and grave structures.
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Mr Bailey added that the review of the bylaw is separate to the Cemeteries Handbook which remained outside the scope of the bylaw engagement.

“The bylaw is designed to regulate activities within cemeteries owned and operated by QLDC and includes enforcement provisions for non-compliance. The handbook is an operational document that supports the bylaw by providing guidelines, processes, and fees and charges. For example, one of the options we would consider adding to our services would be natural burials as part of review of the handbook,” he said.

Parks officers intend to review the handbook in 2024 following adoption of the bylaw.

The Cemeteries Bylaw 2023 | Kā Ture Urupā will come into effect on 1 December and the previous Cemeteries Bylaw 2017 will be revoked on the same date.

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