Press Release – Auckland Council
If you have loved ones in Waikumete Cemetery, or an interest in the heritage, parks or wildlife of the reserve, you are invited to an open day at the Waikumete Cemetery offices on Saturday 1 December to discuss the cemetery’s future growth and management.
The cemetery is expected to reach burial capacity by around 2018. The open day aims to let the public hear more about the issues and opportunities facing the cemetery, and be a part of the consultation process. This is required every 10 years as part of the review of the Reserve and Conservations Management Plan.
According to Richard Mann, Community Facilities Manager at Auckland Council, “Waikumete Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the Southern Hemisphere. At its peak in the 60’s and 70’s, we believe every resident in Auckland had or knew somebody who was connected to the cemetery. 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.”
Other questions that will be raised during the open day include whether some areas of existing vegetation can be cleared to allow for expansion of the burial areas and what the public thinks about more walkways, recreational activities and family events being held in the cemetery’s reserve areas.
At 108 hectares, Waikumete provides for 15 per cent of all burials in Auckland and is the largest cemetery in New Zealand with over 180,000 internments. It is the only cemetery that has dedicated areas for those of the Jewish faith and is one of only two in the region that provides for Muslim burials.
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. It is also home to the largest Service Persons Cemetery and has significant memorials for those who died in the Erebus disaster in 1979 and the Flu Epidemic of the early 1900’s.
The open day is from 10am to 1pm this Saturday. More information on the open days and the consultation process is available on the Auckland Council website – search ‘Waikumete Cemetery’.