Turn 100, get a free grave
Blenheim: Turn 100, get a letter from the Queen and, in Marlborough, a free grave. Centenarians in New Zealand become exempt from burial plot fees as soon as they hit the tonne thanks to a well-hidden clause in the Marlborough District Council’s cemetery fees.
A council spokesman said no-one at the council knew when the clause came into effect as it had been in place for “longer than 20 to 30 years”.
For one centenarian, the news came as quiet a surprise.
Douglas Kemp, born in December 1917, said he had reserved a small plot for him and his wife decades ago.
“I’ve had my plot for years and years,” Mr Kemp said. “It’s for the family.” “What about if you’ve already got [a burial plot], like I have?”
Historically, people were able to reserve burial plots, but reservations were suspended 17 years ago because of the difficulties they caused with “cemetery management”.
100-year-old Douglas Kemp.