Installing or working on a headstone or plaque

​Before installing, removing, repairing or reinstating a monumental headstone or plaque, you must obtain a permit to work in the cemetery from Council. The exception to this is RSA plots which do not require a permit. 
If you’re installing a headstone or plaque, check the guidelines first.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a permit for my headstone or plaque?

Anyone who wants to repair, remove, reinstate or install a headstone or plaque within cemeteries administered by Waipa District Council must first apply for a permit. Your funeral director or stonemason can apply on your behalf.

I’ve never had to apply for a permit in the past, why do I need to now?

A new bylaw came into effect on 1 November 2018 and added new permit requirements to help better manage our cemeteries. This is to make sure that headstones and plaques are appropriate and meet our standards and guidelines​.

Can I install the headstone myself?

The person installing a headstone or plaque must be a member of New Zealand Master Monumental Masons Association or a qualified monument installer. Find out more about the NZMMMA.

What about old headstones and plaques that don’t meet the guidelines?

Existing headstones and plaques are exempt, the new rules only apply to headstones and plaques installed from 1 November 2018.

When will I hear back about my application?

You must apply at least 10 working days before the work starts.

Do I have to do anything once the headstone is installed?

You must provide a photo of the finished work within 10 days of installation. Photos can be sent to​.

What counts as inappropriate headstone/plaque content?

Anything that is obscene, offensive, or likely to cause distress. This may include foul or explicit language, hate speech, gang insignia, inappropriate or explicit images, or images associated with violence or violent groups. This is at the discretion of the Manager – Community Facilities.

Can I have one headstone for two sites?

Yes, single-depth sites like at Pukerimu Cemetery and Leamington Cemetery can cater for this. Double-depth grave sites are more difficult to access and would be at the discretion of Council.

What if removal of the existing headstone is done one day, and installation is done on another?

You will need to submit two different applications, one for each day of work.

Page reviewed: 29 Aug 2019 10:03am