by PETER GRACE
Anyone likely to have to pay for a cremation or burial funeral in 2015 should be prepared to hand over more than $6000 for the former — and quite a bit more for the latter.
Auckland Council changed the pricing schedules relating to its cemeteries on July 1, with many prices up and a small number down.
Davis Funerals managing director, finance, Neil Little, told NZ Catholic that he thought the prices rises could potentially be an issue for some families, especially for those who choose burial as opposed to cremation. That, he said, can be the case for religious or cultural reasons.
“It’s become more and more expensive for them,” Mr Little said.
It might help, he suggested, if the council was clearer about its role and stuck to that.
The council needs to provide burials, but he does not see it as its job to offer free extras — like DVD recording at the Manukau Memorial Gardens. “Giving away services seems to be a bit peculiar.”
There was little doubt, though, that burial had become a more expensive option than cremation, and burial costs seemed to be rising more rapidly than for cremation.
He could understand that the economics were difficult for cemeteries in that they have to maintain their land for a long time.
He believed the cost of cremation is about $600, Mr Little said, compared with about $4000 for a new plot plus digging.
“It’s, I guess, a concern and I guess [cemeteries] are restricted on the amount of land they have.” However, it does seem to be somewhat inequitable for those people who feel bound to choose burial for their loved one, rather than cremation, he said.
by PETER GRACE