Ceme­tery by­law change ahead

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MATTHEW SAL­MONS

Ceme­tery by­laws in the Sel­wyn district could be set to change with con­sul­ta­tion open­ing on a by­law re­view on Novem­ber 10.

The pro­posed Ceme­tery By­law 2017 would re­place the cur­rent Ceme­tery By­law 2011 and af­fect the 19 coun­cil main­tained ceme­ter­ies in the district.

Two of those ceme­ter­ies – Bish­ops Cor­ner and Killinchy – were closed for new plot sales.

The Sel­wyn District Coun­cil (SDC) voted to open the pro­posed changes to pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion be­tween Novem­ber 10 and De­cem­ber 11. SDC in­for­ma­tion ser­vices man­ager Neil Cooke­son said coun­cil was re­quired to re­view the by­law un­der the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act 2002.

‘‘The changes pro­posed are rel­a­tively mi­nor and mostly con­cern op­er­a­tional mat­ters. Some changes are to meet health and safety re­quire­ment un­der new leg­is­la­tion; some are for im­proved op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency and oth­ers to en­sure the well­be­ing and com­fort of those vis­it­ing the fa­cil­i­ties,’’ Cooke­son said in an email.

Most of the dif­fer­ences in the draft by­law were fo­cused on meet­ing safe work­ing prac­tices un­der the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 as well as changes in adorn­ment and ac­tiv­ity around ceme­ter­ies. Some of other changes in­cluded the rul­ing that un­used plots be re­turned to the coun­cil af­ter 80 years, a re­stric­tion on com­mer­cial film or pho­tog­ra­phy

‘‘The changes pro­posed are rel­a­tively mi­nor.’’ Neil Cooke­son

in ceme­ter­ies and a re­quire­ment that all new beams be non­de­nom­i­na­tional.

Cooke­son said Sel­wyn was mov­ing to­wards non­de­nom­i­na­tional ceme­ter­ies to em­brace the district’s grow­ing cul­tural di­ver­sity. The change would only af­fect new beams, not ones al­ready in place.

An­other ad­di­tion was a pro­hi­bi­tion on camp­ing in coun­cil ceme­ter­ies. Such a pro­vi­sion had not been in­cluded in the by­law un­til it be­came nec­es­sary.

‘‘We have had one oc­cur­rence where a camper had set up for the night and was asked to move to a des­ig­nated camp­ing ground,’’ Cooke­son said.

Peo­ple would be able to sub­mit their views on the draft by­law on­line, or by hand­ing in a com­pleted sub­mis­sion form.

Ini­tially put for­ward at the Septem­ber 13 coun­cil meet­ing, the re­port was de­layed af­ter coun­cil­lor Craig Wat­son said it would be pru­dent for coun­cil to con­sult with Te Ru¯ nanga o Tau­mutu and Te Ru¯ nanga o Nga¯ i Tahu be­fore go­ing ahead with pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion. The pro­posed date for the adop­tion of the by­law was March 14, 2018.

Sel­wyn’s ceme­tery by­laws are set for a change with a draft by­law out for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion this month.

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