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Plots, burials and guidelines

We understand the burial of a loved one or the process of reserving a burial plot can be an emotional time.

We make every effort to treat your loved ones and family with dignity and respect during and after your bereavement.

The below information is designed to help you understand more about the burial processes and highlight some important information, including purchasing a plot, flowers/wreaths and headstone/memorials.

Our staff are available to answer your questions and guide you through the process.

Contact our team

Purchasing a burial plot

Council operates 20 cemeteries across the district, all cemeteries are open for visiting 24 hours a day, all year round. Each cemetery has water on site which is available for everyone to use.

See cemetery locations

All cemeteries have two kinds of burial plots, a standard grave/burial plot and an ashes plot.

Each burial plot can hold up to two deceased persons, excluding natural burials (only one person per natural burial plot), or eight urns containing ashes. One ashes plot can hold up to two urns - Ashes cannot be scattered in any cemetery.


Pre-purchasing a burial plot gives you an exclusive right of burial in a particular plot. You can select your own plot or a plot close to a recently deceased loved one.

A record of the plot purchase is recorded on a certificate and in our system. It does not give the 'plot owner' ownership of the land. 

The owner of the plot, with authorisation from council, can transfer the ownership rights to another family member. Ad administration fee may apply.

Purchasing at the time of a burial

This is usually done through your funeral director, if you do not wish to use a funeral director you can discuss the matter with one of our staff members who will help guide you through the process.

All arrangements can be made through our Customer Delivery Team, they will take you through the process of plot selection, reservation and payment.

Contact our team

You can find a list of plot fees in our our fees and charges document.


Before a burial can take place an application must be lodged with Council. This can be done independently or through a funeral director.

The following must be provided with the burial warrant application:

  • A medical certificate or coroner's authorisation,
  • written permission from the owner of the owner of the plot/exclusive right of burial, where applicable,
  • payment of the burial fees, this can be found in our fees and charges document.

Burial hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 10.00am-3.30pm
  • Saturday 10.30am-2.30pm
  • Sundays and public holidays, cemeteries are closed for all interments.
  • Muslim burials by arrangement – please phone 0800 492 452.

We ask that you arrive as close to the stated burial time as possible. A late arrival fee will apply if your arrival is in excess of one hour of the scheduled time.

Family members are welcome to backfill the grave following a burial. For heath and safety our contractors will remain on site to oversee this process. Full burial fees still apply in these circumstances.

After 28 days the Council will then level the ground of the grave an sow in new grass. We do not notify the family before this takes place, and any flowers or wreaths will be relocated to the concrete berm.

Natural burials

While natural burials has been approved through the Cemeteries Bylaw, Council must undertake the necessary steps to prepare our cemeteries to accept these.

We hope to have natural burials available from early 2024.

Flowers and wreaths

Flowers, including wreaths, may be placed on a plot for up to 28 days following the burial. After this time, all flowers or ornaments will be relocated to the concrete berm to allow for the for the ground to be levelled and grass sown.

Any future flowers and ornaments must be placed on the concrete berm and must not inhibit the proper maintenance of the Cemetery or other graves. Breakable jars or vases must not be used as flower containers.

The Council may remove unapproved ornaments or memorabilia from graves at any time to facilitate the maintenance of those graves.

Plaques, headstones or monument specifications

Only one plaque, headstone or monument is permitted on each plot and a permit is required from Council before installing a plaque or headstone.

If a statue or similar item is attached to the monument and the combination exceeds the allowed dimensions, the monument will be considered non-compliant and the family will be asked to remove it.

Below you'll find the headstone and memorial specifications stating the requirements for any plaque, headstone, memorial, kerbing, etc, as well as the application form.

The person installing your headstone must have Waikato District Council approval, see below for a list of approved stonemasons.
Cemetery maintenance

The relatives or a family representative is responsible for the ongoing maintenance, upkeep and repair of the deceased memorial.

Trees, shrubs, plants or other vegetation cannot be planted in the cemetery by anyone other than Council. Any vegetation planted by the public will be removed.

Report it

If you have noticed a problem in one of our cemeteries that requires our attention you can log a request via our online Report it tool.

Report it here


Information brochures

Related documents