Find out more about casket, ash and natural burial options, as well as veteran and Returned Service Association cemeteries.
Hours and fees
Burials usually take place during the following hours and burials outside of these hours are at Council’s discretion:
- Monday to Friday 8am-2pm
- Saturday 8am-12pm (including public holiday weekends)
- Burials are not conducted on Christmas Day or Good Friday.
Burial fees start at are listed in Council’s fees and charges: Waipā Cemeteries - Fees and Charges
Apply online for Cemetery Reservation / Pre-Purchased Plot
With the changes that Central Government have made to the numbers allowed at funerals Funeral Directors are now required to fo complete the forms below and will receive an email to confirm this.
Purchasing or reserving a cemetery plot
You can reserve up to two plots at a time for a maximum of 60 years, giving you exclusive right of burial in those plots, but not ownership. Ownership rights can be transferred with the council’s consent.
Lawn plots can hold two caskets and up to five ash interments. The exceptions are Leamington and Pukerimu which can only hold one casket due to ground conditions.
Arranging a burial
Once a plot is chosen, a burial warrant needs to be completed by a funeral director or the family with information like funeral director details, time of burial, size of casket, details of the deceased and the plot location.
Graves can only be dug by Council’s sexton. If you wish to be present when the grave is being dug, make sure you let us know ahead of time. Family members are welcome to backfill the grave following a burial with the supervision of the sexton.
Ashes can be buried in three ways:
- In front of a memorial ashes berm, a concrete strip suitable for small plaques or headstones.
- In a grave plot, in the same was as casket burials.
- In gardens of remembrance designated for the burial of ashes. Ashes are buried outside of the garden area and each plot can accommodate two sets of ashes.
All planting at the cemeteries and plot maintenance is council’s responsibility. We are sorry, but family members aren’t permitted to plant trees, shrubs or flowers in any of our cemeteries.
Some individuals or families prefer to scatter ashes at a place of significance instead. If this is the case, please ensure you get permission from the land owner before you scatter them. Ashes should not be scattered into waterways or water bodies.
Waipā’s natural burial section is a peaceful location within Leamington Cemetery. The natural burial area will be planted in native trees in lieu of headstones, and location of plots will be recorded on Council's database using a GPS marker.
What is a natural burial?
A natural burial returns the body to the earth as quickly as possible. Everything used for the burial is biodegradable so the body is not embalmed and is buried within the active soil layer no deeper than 800mm. Caskets are to be made of untreated fibre or wood and non-toxic adhesives. Over time the area will be covered in native bush.
Ashes can also be buried in a natural burial site. The ashes must be treated to reduce their acidity and salinity and prevent any chemicals returning to the earth.
Any item buried with the body must be biodegradable so personal items like accessories and jewellery cannot be buried in the casket.
What's a natural burial plot like?
The plot for a natural burial is different to a traditional grave site. A native tree is planted to mark the site instead of a headstone and the graves are identified by GPS co-ordinates and plotted on a cemetery map in Council's database.
Plots for natural burials are larger than traditional plots to ensure there is enough space surrounding each grave and also to allow for memorial plantings to grow. Plots are placed in a specific area so that the bush can grow.
Only one casket is buried in each plot and new plots are placed next to the last burial. This means we cannot allow reservations or allow plots to be picked in the natural burial section.
Ash burials will be placed between existing plants in the undergrowth area. Ashes can’t be added to existing casket plots. Families are also welcome to place a biodegradable wooden marker with their loved one’s name carved or burned into it on the ashes burial site.
Native plant or tree memorials
A list of native plants and trees recommended for the natural burial site is available and families are invited to make their selection from this list. Arrangements for the planting of memorials will be made after the burial at the best time of year to ensure healthy growth. At the time of planting staff will prepare the hole before the tree is planted by the family or loved ones. For further information contact your local funeral director.
Veteran and RSA cemeteries
Council manages two RSA sections, within Te Awamutu Cemetery and Hautapu Cemetery.
If you have any queries please contact Veterans Affairs by calling 0800 483 8372 or on +64 4 495 2070 if if outside New Zealand.
If you’ve been a serving member, you may be interred in any RSA cemetery in New Zealand.
Spouses of a Returned Services persons be interred in the RSA section if they die before the Returned Services person