What does “rights to burial” or “burial rights” mean?
When you purchase a plot, you are granted the rights to either use the plot for your own burial or to give permission for someone else to be buried in the plot. For more information, visit tcdc.govt.nz/burial.
How do I purchase a plot?
Our Customer Services team can help you purchase a burial plot. Once you have paid for a plot a Plot Reservation Certificate will be issued. This is an important legal document. It is recommended you provide a copy to your lawyer and to other family members, so they are aware you have purchased the rights to a plot. Find the application form to purchase a plot at tcdc.govt.nz/cemeteryforms.
Does my family gain right to burial in a plot I have purchased?
Once you pass away and are buried in the plot, your rights to burial do not pass to anyone else and plots do not become “family’ plots as a right.
If others want to be buried in the same plot they will have to provide evidence of having rights of burial. Usually by way of being the Executor/s of the original plot purchaser or having inherited the rights to use the plot.
If evidence cannot be supplied Council may consider requests to inter provided all living close family members agree. Close family consist of grandparents, parents, siblings, children, spouses, civil union partners, or de facto partners.
Do you have special plots for returned veterans?
Yes, at all open cemeteries except Colville and Omahu. Anyone who has served in a recognised conflict situation is eligible for a Returned Services plot and double burials allow a spouse or partner of the deceased to be buried in the same plot. A standard ex-service memorial plaque is available at a subsidised rate through Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand. Talk to our Customer Services team about funding memorials or go to Veterans Affairs website.
Can I reserve a plot?
For capacity reasons, pre-sales of burial plots are not allowed at the Mercury Bay, Buffalo and Colville cemeteries. Please contact our Customer Services team for queries on pre-sales at our other cemeteries. Council reserves the right to restrict pre-purchase of plots at any cemetery at any time if necessary.
How long do my rights to use the plot exist for?
Rights to burial last for 60 years from the time the plot is paid for. If after 60 years Council has not received any request to extend the rights and the plot remains unused the rights will lapse, and Council may choose to make the plot available again. You may approach Council to extend the burial rights if you still wish to use the plot in the future, a charge may apply to do this.
Can I transfer or sell my burial plot to someone else before use?
The rights of burial may be transferred to a close family member/s but are unable to be on sold to another party. You can do this by completing the Application to Transfer Ownership or Change Rights of Burial form found at tcdc.govt.nz/cemeteryforms
Can I sell my burial rights back to Council?
Yes – Council will refund the price that was paid at the time of purchase. Your rights to use the plot will no longer exist and the plot may be made available again for purchase. You can do this by completing the Application to cancel a reserved plot or sell a plot back to Council form at tcdc.govt.nz/cemeteryforms
Can I scatter ashes at the cemetery?
At present, you may scatter ashes at two of our cemeteries.Totara Memorial Park in Thames and Buffalo Cemetery in Coromandel. There is no charge to do this but an application to inter form should be filled out if you would like Council to record this. You can find this form at tcdc.govt.nz/cemeteryforms.
Can I reserve a plot in a natural burial area?
Yes – plots are allocated on the next available basis. Because of this, you are unable to choose a specific plot. Find the application form at tcdc.govt.nz/cemeteryforms
Do I have to pay an out of district fee to be buried?
Out of district fees may be waived in the following circumstances:
- If the deceased lived within the Thames-Coromandel District area for at least 12 months prior to passing away
- If the deceased lived in the Thames-Coromandel District area for a continuous period of at least 10 years in their lifetime
- If the deceased was a ratepayer in the Thames-Coromandel District area.