Headstone and plaque guidelines


​​​These are Council's guidelines for monuments and plaques in our public cemeteries. Please note: This does not apply to any monument erected prior to 1 November 2018.


  • The Council has made provision in its cemeteries for the construction of a continuous concrete berm for the installation of monuments and plaques along each row.

  • All monuments must be installed by a member of the New Zealand Master Monumental Mason Association (NZMMMA) or be a qualified monument installation professional.

  • All monuments and plaques must meet the New Zealand Standard NZS 4242:2018 Headstone and Cemetery Monuments.

  • Monuments can include any tombstone, headstone, memorial, plaque, kerbing, or other erection.

  • A permit must be obtained from council prior to the installation or maintenance of any monument or plaque.

  • After a monument has been installed, please photograph in-situ and send image to info@waipadc.govt.nz along with permit reference and name(s) of the deceased as confirmation of installation.



Erected monuments are to have a width of no more than 1000mm, a height of no more than 1200mm, and a depth of no more than 450mm. Concrete base or monument being installed must give an allowance of 150mm between the edge of the berm and the edge of the concrete base or monument.

Dimensions of lawn headstones:Plaques 

In the following Gardens of Remembrance and Memorial Ashes Berms plaques are to be no more than 150mm x 100mm and must be of bronze construction:

  • Leamington Cemetery - Garden of Remembrance 1
  • Hautapu Cemetery - Garden of Remembrance 1
  • Pukerimu Cemetery - Memorial Ashes Berm 1

Dimensions of ashes berms plaques:

In all other Gardens of Remembrance and Memorial Ashes Berms plaques are to be no more than 350mm x 230mm.

Dimensions of memorial ​ashes berms plaques for all other locations:

Memorial Ashes Berm Memorials

Small memorial stones with a base of no more than 500mm wide x 330mm deep and a height of no more than 550mm are permitted on flat Memorial Ashes Berms at Alexandra (Pirongia), Paterangi and Ashes at Te Awamutu.

Dimensions of memorial ashes berm upright headstones:

Other Monuments

Any exceptions to the above must be approved first by the authorised officer of the Waipa District Council and may include a fee for any extra berms that may need to be laid.


Waipa District Council prefers the use of permanent, durable materials in the construction of memorials as these are not easily damaged or broken and may last for more than 50 years. 

Recommended materials for monuments include:

  • Granite or other suitably hard stone
  • Marble
  • Stainless Steel
  • Basalt
  • Andesite

Recommended materials for plaques include:

  • ​Granite or suitably hard stone
  • Bronze
  • Marble
  • Ceramic

Not Permitted:

  • Glass
  • Timber
  • Limestone
  • Sandstone

​Any exceptions to the above must be approved first by the authorised officer of the Waipa District Council.


Under the Cemeteries Bylaw (2013), Section 10.3 offensive language or offensive symbols are prohibited. These may include foul or explicit language, hate speech, gang insignia, inappropriate or explicit images, or images associated with violence or violent groups.

Method of Fixing/Securing

All monuments and plaques must be installed, removed, or reinstated to the standards set out in the current New Zealand Standards.

Health and Safety, Contractor Expectations

All contractors working on site will observe health and safety guidelines as set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015).

The work area must be marked off with a safety barrier or hazard cones.

If any headstone or plaque should become loose or unstable Council shall contact the installing contractor to come and re-secure said headstone or plaque.

No contractor shall work in a cemetery during an interment/funeral service

All contractors performing work in the cemetery must leave the site in a tidy and safe condition. If the site is not considered to be tidy and safe after work is complete the contractor will be asked to return and tidy the site to acceptable standards.

Acceptable standards include leaving no parts of stone, concrete or other debris on or around work site, leaving the lawn with no extensive damage, reporting and arranging for the repair of any damage caused to any cemetery structure or vegetation. 

Monument Permit

The purpose of the Monument Permit is to aid Waipa District Council in the management of cemetery records, to improve the visual amenity of cemeteries and to monitor the condition of monuments and plaques through maintenance and consistent standards.

The permit is to be completed and returned to the Council offices 10 business days before work is due to begin to allow time for processing and to advise of any service(s) that may be scheduled to avoid conflict.


Any new monument or plaque that is found to be non-compliant or installed without a permit will be subject to an order for removal or repair to be served on the contractor, or where the contractor cannot be identified, the next of kin of the deceased. Waipa District Council bears no responsibility for costs incurred by an order for removal or remediation.

If a monument or plaque is found to have come loose or otherwise not securely fixed to its base an order for removal or remediation will be issued to the contractor for action within 30 working days.  

Only one (1) structure is permitted on each plot.

Relatives and/or trustees of the deceased are responsible for the ongoing maintenance and repair of the monument.

Page reviewed: 26 Oct 2018 9:30am