Death rate drop prompts cemetery review
With fewer people dying, the council’s plans to expand at cemeteries will be reviewed.
At a South Waikato District Council meeting it was reported that the number of burials were ‘‘well below the average of previous years with only four further burials in the last month’’, group manager of assets Roger Fisher said in his report to council.
The under-used plots have impacted on the council’s budgeted income which Mr Fisher said ‘‘is now below that projected for the year’’.
The council will continue to monitor the figures to see if this is the start of a ‘‘slight’’ downward trend.
‘‘This may impact on our projected programme of development work and extend our estimated capacity for each of the district cemeteries.’’
Mayor Neil Sinclair thinks it may be a sign more people are opting to be cremated.
‘‘This is of particular interest to us because when we plan the expansion of cemeteries in the district we need to see if there is a demand.
‘‘We have started extensions at Putaruru Domain Road Cemetery. I think more people are opting to be cremated.’’
Mr Sinclair told South Waikato News when his time came he wanted to be buried in Putaruru because it was ‘‘home’’.
‘‘Putaruru is where my bones will go, in saying that I have no plans to fill my plot yet, I have too much work to finish for the community,’’ Mr Sinclair said.
South Waikato Funeral Services general manager Derek Mossman said that the cremation rate has not spiked but the death rate had plummeted.
‘‘This year the death rate has dropped substantially.
‘‘It is the lowest it has been in five years.’’
Mr Mossman said traditionally winter was the ‘‘ busiest time’’ for funeral directors.