The Waimakariri District Council operates seven cemeteries. There are also 14 church cemeteries and three Maori cemeteries located throughout the district.

About the Waimakariri District Council cemeteries

The Waimakariri District Council cemeteries:

  • are well maintained so they are peaceful places for family and friends
  • are open to visitors 365 days a year during daylight hours
  • are available to all persons, not just residents of the district. There are no additional fees for non-Waimakariri residents
  • do not have any facilities for the interment of pets, or the ashes of pets, or the placement of memorials for pets.

Enquiries regarding burials or purchase of plots should be directed to the appropriate service centre. There are a number of church cemeteries throughout the district. Burial records for church cemeteries are held by the respective churches.

Double-depth burials are only accepted at the Oxford and Cust-Mairaki Cemeteries because the ground conditions at the other cemeteries are not suitable. Where plots have already been reserved at Kaiapoi for double-depth burials these will be permitted.

Burials may be carried out between the hours of 9 am and 3.30 pm Monday to Friday, and until 12 noon on Saturdays during the winter. During the summer burial hours are extended to 4 pm Monday to Friday.

Services cemeteries

New Zealand has specifically designated areas within public cemeteries, and stand-alone individual cemeteries, for the interment of veterans, irrespective of whether death was due to service or to natural causes. These are called Services Cemeteries and there are now 184 of these throughout New Zealand.

The Waimakariri District Council has Services Cemeteries at the Kaiapoi Public Cemetery and the Rangiora Lawn Cemetery.

Ex-service personnel who have had war service, or service that is defined as equivalent to war service, and their spouses/partners may be buried in a Services Cemetery. Each person's eligibility for burial is confirmed by the Council prior to the funeral booking being accepted.

Interment of spouse/partner of a veteran in a services cemetery

The Burial and Cremation Act does permit the burial of the spouse/partner of a veteran in a services cemetery. It is accepted custom and practice that the interment of the spouse/partner must occur after the interment of the eligible veteran. This practice has come about because if the partner is interred first, there is no guarantee that the veteran will be interred in the same plot upon the veteran's subsequent death. If the personal circumstances of the veteran change, that person may never be interred with the spouse in the services cemetery, resulting in a partner occupying a plot that has been set aside for an eligible veteran.

Headstones and memorials

  • One headstone or memorial that meets the required specifications, is permitted on each plot
  • Headstones must not contain any inappropriate wording that, in the opinion of the Council, may cause offence.
  • A Veterans Affairs plaque may be installed next to a headstone for returned service persons interred in areas outside the services cemetery area
  • Headstones or memorials must be installed by an approved Monumental Mason or Stone Mason
  • Council permission must be obtained prior to the removal of any headstone or memorial from a Council cemetery.

Cemetery maintenance

The Council's cemetery services are delivered by the Council’s Parks and Recreation Unit with administration services managed by Customer Services. Cemetery maintenance and burial services are delivered under contract; all graves, including ashes graves, must be prepared by the Council’s contractor. Ashes may not be scattered at the Council cemeteries or at any public park or reserve.

The family of the deceased are responsible for maintaining the memorial in good condition. The Council does not accept responsibility for damage or vandalism to monuments.

In order to maintain the overall cemetery environment for the benefit of all users, grave memorabilia that does not comply with the cemetery standards will be removed by the Council contractor.


For further information on cemeteries in the Waimakariri, please contact Customer Services on 0800 965 468 or email office@wmk.govt.nz.