Maori Burial Choices
It has been customary for the deceased to be taken back to their home marae for a tangi and burial. This is still an honoured and widely respected practice. But it is a changing world and many Maori today are choosing different options.
Waikumete Cemetery offers:
- Burial in any general part of the cemetery
- Urupa specially for Maori and their immediate whanau
- Avenues of Remembrance burial (conditions are available from the cemetery office)
- A Returned Services area
- Ash plots (for burying deceased who have been cremated)
- Niche plots (a hollow in the memorial wall where ashes can be interred
The Urupa - a unique Maori option
The Urupa is a beautiful section of the cemetery where Maori may be buried. It may be particularly interesting to urban Maori.
Who may be buried in the Urupa?
- Anyone who can trace their Maori Whakapapa
- Non Maori partner of a Maori
- Whangai Whanau
What does it offer?
- Double or single depth plots
- A children's section (different size plots at different prices - contact
us for details)
- Ash plots
- Low headstones only
- No decorations are permitted:
no gardens, decorations, groundcover, etc. are allowed on plots/graves in the Urupa.
Does burial have to be expensive?
There are some costs that have to be made, that need not cost a fortune. You may prefer to use a funeral director who should take care of everything for you, if that's what you want. This includes:
- Embalming the body
- Providing a chapel for the funeral service
- Selling you a casket
- Providing the bearers
- Organising a burial plot on your behalf
- Booking a cremation and organising an ash plot to bury the ashes in, or returning the ashes to the family to bury or scatter in their chosen place.
- Arranging all bookings with the cemetery/crematorium
You will be charged for these services.
Don't be afraid to ask how to reduce costs
- The body does not have to be embalmed in most cases (though this means that you have to bury the person quickly).
Buy a modest casket or supply your own (homemade if you wish) or use a shroud (with a fixed base).
Cremation costs less than burial.
Ash plots cost less than full burial plots (keeping or scattering the ashes costs nothing).
Use your own vehicles instead of a hearse to carry the casket.
Have the funeral service in your own church, home, marae, etc.
- You may organise the funeral yourself
- Make your own casket (homemade caskets must be kept to a minimum size), or shroud (conditions apply).
- Provide your own minister or funeral celebrant.
- Have the burial service or tangi at your church, marae, house, etc.
- Use your own vehicles instead of hearses.
- Make burial or cremation arrangements directly with the cemetery.
Note: For safety reasons at Waikumete Cemetery the public may not dig or help to dig burial plots. However, they may help to fill the plot in.
Costs of burials
The cemetery will tell you the exact costs of the burial option you choose (this will not include the funeral director's charges). You will be charged for the plot itself and the cost of digging the grave, but after that, the plot will be maintained by the cemetery.
Assistance with costs
Income Support will assist people who qualify with funeral costs. They will pay the cemetery/crematorium or the funeral director, directly. But remember, always get a quote from a funeral director covering exactly what you are being charged for. Sometimes there are misunderstandings.