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Burial Services

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Double Depth Burial is possible in the Ashburton, Methven, Rakaia, Chertsey, Winslow, Waterton and Barrhill Cemeteries. This allows for two caskets, or 1 casket and two ashes urns, or four ashes urns.

To organise a Double Depth Interment, Funeral Directors will indicate on the Application for Interment form that the first casket is to be interred at 2.1 metres.

When the time comes that a plot is to be reopened the second casket will be interred at 1.5 metres.

Due to soil conditions at the Hinds, Alford Forest, Ruapuna and Mt Somers Cemeteries only allow for a single depth interment. The Ashburton District Council Cemeteries Bylaw allow for maximum of one casket and two ashes urns, or four ashes urns per plot in theses cemeteries.

Prior to the family arriving at the cemetery the assigned plot will be dug and dressed ready for the interment of the casket.

The family will be asked in advance by their funeral director if they wish to fill in the plot (backfill) themselves. Should they choose this option; the funeral director will guide the family through this process.

Should a family choose not to backfill themselves, the plot will be reinstated by cemetery staff after the family have left the site. Any flowers left by the family will be placed on the plot.

Download an interment form

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Interment of ashes are allowed in any conventional burial plot in the cemeteries in the Ashburton District, (this excludes Natural Burial Plots and Muslim Burial Plots). There are dedicated cremation plots in the Ashburton, Methven, Rakaia and Mt Somers Cemeteries.

The Cemeteries Bylaw allow for a maximum of two ashes urns to be interred in a Cremation Plot and Four Ashes Urns to be interred in conventional burial plots.

Natural Burial is available in the Ashburton Cemetery.

The deceased is not to be embalmed. This is to speed the natural processes of decomposition. This will also reduce the amount of artificial and toxic chemicals and materials introduced to the soil.

Caskets, coffins or shroud bearers must be made of chemically untreated and unprocessed materials. There should be no materials or objects in the casket/shroud that cannot decompose naturally.

The plots will be GPS marked, and the co-ordinates will be available on the Ashburton District Council Cemetery Records. There will be an option for families to install a plaque on a Memorial Wall. The plaques will need to be made up to Ashburton District Council Specifications and Delivered to the Open Spaces Team for Installation.

Plots in the Natural Burial area can be pre-purchased, but the location cannot be selected. A plot will be allocated by ADC at the time of interment. This is to ensure that plots are accessible and that digging the graves does not damage landscaping/trees.

Planting and landscaping of occupied Natural Burial Plots will be undertaken by the Ashburton District Council Open Spaces Team. This will not occur after every burial. Instead the areas will be attended at strategic times every year.

There is an area in the Ashburton Cemetery dedicated to Muslim Burials.

Plots in this area are not available for pre-purchase. When an Interment is arranged in this section of the cemetery, the Funeral Directors will select this option on the Application for Interment Form, and a plot will then be allocated by Cemetery Staff.

The graves are dug perpendicular to Mecca, and the body should be placed in the grave on its right side, facing Mecca. The grave has a complicated configuration with a ledge to allow mourners to climb into the grave with the deceased.

Once the body is in the grave, a layer of wood (a ‘Muslim Board’) is placed on top of the body to prevent direct contact between the body and the soil that will fill the grave.

Due to the unique structure of these grave a second interment is not possible. Cremated remains are not permitted in this section of the cemetery.

There is a garden in the Ashburton Cemetery where ashes can be scattered if families desire. As this is council owned land, it is expected that an Application for Interment form is filled out and submitted to the Ashburton District Council for record keeping purposes.

There is no charge for using this garden to scatter loved ones ashes.

There is an option for families to commission a plaque for the Memorial Wall. These plaques must be made up to the Ashburton District Council Specifications, and delivered to the Open Spaces Team for Installation.

With the exception of the areas set aside for our Returned Service men and women, burial plots can be purchased in advance.  This can assist in ensuring other family members can rest alongside their loved ones as well as making future burial arrangements a little easier for families.

Download a plot purchase form

Learn more about our fees and charges

All purchased plots are held in perpetuity in the name of the owner.

All of the Districts cemeteries have designated areas set aside for Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan/Methodist, however, as these areas are filled up new sections used for interments are interdenominational only.

Learn more about our fees and charges

Learn more about Council's Cemetery Bylaw

Permission must be given by the Council before a headstone is erected in any cemetery. A headstone permit form must be completed and approved before the erection of a headstone.

Download a headstone form

Learn more about our fees and charges

Learn more about Council's Cemetery Bylaw