Wairoa District Council elected members adopted the Cemeteries and Waters Bylaws at a meeting on Monday.
A key point relating to the Cemeteries Bylaw is that it will not be applied retrospectively, meaning no existing headstones within the cemetery will be removed by Council as part of the Cemeteries Bylaw process.
Further resolutions included that Council develop guidelines with relevant stakeholders for headstones and memorials moving forward, and that Council develop a natural burial policy.
Council received over 50 submissions to the Cemeteries and Waters Bylaws consultation.
A submissions hearing was held earlier this month followed by Monday’s deliberation process where the views expressed through the submissions were considered by elected members.
In relation to the Cemeteries Bylaw, the resolutions take into account feedback received from the community, particularly around ensuring a clear and transparent process for the installation of future headstones and ensuring there is no ambiguity around the ‘offensive’ clause when headstones are approved for installation.
Elected members noted that a key part of moving forward is based around clarifying misinformation about the Cemeteries Bylaw which has been highlighted in the media and social media, and making sure Council is able to appropriately apply the Cemeteries Bylaw in the future.
Wairoa District Council remains committed to ensuring cemeteries are safe places and that everyone who is buried is taken care of in their own unique way.
In response to questions raised during the submissions regarding behaviour in the cemetery, Council reminded the public that this is a Police issue, as is the application of all relevant laws.
Council will now begin to develop both the headstones and memorials guidelines and the natural burial policy. If you are interested in being involved in the development of either of these, please email email@example.com
18 May 2022
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