Plotting ahead pays off

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 12:07 01/02/2013
Southland Times photo
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ

Residents do not need to worry about where they are going to be buried because there is plenty of space, not like some councils which are struggling for burial plot land.

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Some city councils are experiencing problems resurrecting from the dead, but Invercargill is sitting comfortably thanks to some forward thinking.

Burial plots in the North Island are becoming a scarce commodity, but there is no need to worry in Invercargill with at least 50 years worth of burial spaces available.

Invercargill City Council parks manager Robin Pagan said there was an abundance of burial spots, and more to come, thanks to some long term planning.

"We did have 100 years ahead (of burial spots) but we've probably got slightly less than that now.

"We have planned well."

The council's policy on pre-purchasing plots also added to the availability of space.

Many councils allowed people to pre purchase plots and book their space so the councils were left maintaining unused land. But in Invercargill people did not get allocated a space until they died. That way the council did not have to maintain empty spaces.

The council has plans to expand the cemeteries, with land by the Eastern Cemetery earmarked for the council to buy when they need to. The council did not own the land but they were able to buy it when the time comes, he said.

But that could be some time away with a growing trend towards cremations. Last year 384 people were cremated in Invercargill, while only 197 were buried.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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