Satur­day burial fee in Porirua ques­tioned

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Den­nis Makalio is bugged by the cost to bury some­one on a Satur­day in Porirua.

The Mon­grel Mob Rogue mem­ber said he was speak­ing for mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who were find­ing the sur­charge for a burial at Whenua Tapu on a Satur­day re­stric­tive.

The cost of a stan­dard-sized plot and to bury some­one in Porirua is $2088. That rises nearly $400 for a plot that is over-sized and there is an ex­tra $690 fee for a Satur­day burial.

‘‘The sur­charge for Satur­day is un­fair,’’ Makalio said. ‘‘Are you telling me it’s $690 to have two peo­ple work­ing on Satur­day? What­ever, that’s rip­ping peo­ple off, mostly peo­ple who can barely af­ford th­ese costs in the first place.

‘‘I un­der­stand you have to pay peo­ple to work on the week­end, but what they’re charg­ing right now is too high – that’s some hourly rate they have those work­ers on.’’

Makalio said he was of­ten in­volved in talk­ing to fu­neral homes about costs.

Porirua City Coun­cil parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said the sur­charge was rea­son­able for staff start­ing at 7am and work­ing for five hours on a week­end day, of­ten tidy­ing up af­ter a fu­neral had fin­ished.

She said that in her ex­pe­ri­ence most peo­ple pre­ferred to have fu­ner­als dur­ing the week – since last July, just four of 107 buri­als in Porirua had been on a Satur­day.

The Satur­day charge varies around the re­gion. Welling­ton City charges $646, Lower Hutt $410, Up­per Hutt $324 and Kapiti $759.

Makalio said peo­ple should refuse to pay it.

‘‘We pay rates that are high al­ready. There needs to be a so­lu­tion to suit peo­ple who can’t af­ford it,’’ he said.

‘‘This is a com­mu­nity that works for each other and the coun­cil should be com­ing to the party here. Un­less you ques­tion things, they’ll charge you more all over the place.’’

Dovey said the $690 cost had risen only by in­fla­tion in the last three years and the fees were set an­nu­ally. The next re­view of the coun­cil’s fees and charges is due early next year and com­mu­nity in­put was al­ways wel­come.

‘‘If we were to in­crease them, we would con­sult [with the pub­lic],’’ she said.


Martin Ed­wards, left, and Den­nis Makalio, who ob­ject to the cost of a Satur­day burial in Porirua.

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