Cemetery reveals expansion plans

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 12:26 26/11/2012
Waikumete Cemetery
MATTHEW GRAY / Fairfax NZ
CUTTING IT TIGHT: Space is running out at Waikumete Cemetery.

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The future of one of the biggest cemeteries in the southern hemisphere will be up for debate this weekend and the public can hear plans for expansions so burials can continue.

West Auckland's Waikumete Cemetery is expected to reach capacity by 2018 and every 10 years Auckland Council is required to consult the public on its future. 

The open day will give people a chance to voice their concerns.

"At its peak in the 60s and 70s, we believe every resident in Auckland had or knew somebody who was connected to the cemetery," council community facilities manager Richard Mann said. 

"It is an important facility for Aucklanders throughout the region and we want as many people as possible to have a say in its future management and development."

Plans to clear existing vegetation to allow for more burial areas will be discussed, as will proposals for walkways, recreational activities and family events to be held in the cemetery's reserve areas.

Mann said the 108 hectare cemetery provides for 15 per cent of all burials in Auckland and is the largest cemetery in New Zealand with more than 180,000 internments.

The cemetery also has an urupa for Maori burials and caters for eco burials which are unmarked apart from the planting of a native tree. 

The open day is on Saturday from 10am to 1pm. 

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