The by­laws gov­ern­ing buri­als and cre­ma­tions across the Auck­land re­gion are now un­der re­view with the coun­cil propos­ing one by­law for all. Re­porter James Ire­land looks at the im­pact the city’s in­creas­ing cul­tural di­ver­sity is hav­ing on its ceme­ter­ies.

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Ka­t­rina Shanks says it is es­sen­tial for people to adapt to chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics.

‘‘We need to make sure lo­cal coun­cils are ad­vised of the changes that need to take place to al­low mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties to con­tinue their cul­tural prac­tices as much as pos­si­ble.’’

Law Com­mis­sion pres­i­dent Sir Grant Ham­mond agrees and says a de­sire to re­in­force con­nec­tions to places and an­ces­tors is com­mon for many griev­ing rel­a­tives.

He says it is im­por­tant that the law does not un­rea­son­ably re­strict the ways in which people of dif­fer­ent be­liefs and cul­tures ex­press those needs.

The com­mis­sion last year re­viewed New Zealand’s Burial and Cre­ma­tion Act which had ex­pe­ri­enced only small changes since it was passed in 1964.

New Zealand’s pop­u­la­tion of 2.1 mil­lion was made up of 92 per cent Euro­peans and 6 per cent Maori when the act came into be­ing.

Now it in­cludes 74 per cent Euro­pean, 15 per cent Maori, 12 per cent Asian, 7 per cent Pa­cific and 1 per cent Latin Amer­i­can and African.

That adds up to 109 per cent be­cause people who iden­tify with more than one eth­nic­ity are counted twice.

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