Cemetery plans to fit 1000 more

If you are going to die anywhere, Invercargill can certainly fit you in.

Invercargill's Eastern Cemetery is expanding, so 1000 more people can be buried there.

Invercargill City Council parks manager Robin Pagan said his department was simply planning for the future by opening up and landscaping another piece of land, but it was likely the first people would be buried there by the end of the year.

While there was still a lot of space in the other parts of the cemetery it was not always convenient to bury people at the same place at the same time, he said.

About 250 people were buried at the cemetery each year, some of them in existing plots, so it was hoped the new land would last at least five years.

The council has enough land to last another 50 years, Mr Pagan said.

Turf and reserve supervisor Shona Tomlin had the job of growing the grass in the area, something the weather had helped with over summer, she said.

Once the grass was grown, trees would be planted and the concrete planks erected for the headstones.

Mr Pagan said the council spent $100,000 creating a road for the new burial area, which could eventually be extended to any other sections that may be required in the future.

While the section in the cemetery where people were presently being buried still had space, it was necessary to have two areas to bury people to avoid congestion during busy times. "Hearses normally don't back very well."

Mr Pagan said the cemetery was a busy place and it was important to ensure the area was looked after and had plenty of space for families to spend time.

"On Christmas Day you are more likely to get run over at the cemetery than on Dee St."

The Southland Times