Cemetery FAQs

Thames' Totara Cemetery

How do I purchase a plot?

For all enquiries please contact our Customer Services team.


Who is responsible for the upkeep of a plot once purchased?

A relative or designated representative is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the memorial. We are responsible for mowing lawns and general cemetery maintenance.


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 an RSA 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.

Please talk to our Customer Services staff (07 868 0200) in regards to Veterans Affairs' position on funding memorials for Commonwealth and Allied forces' members.


Can I reserve a plot next to my loved one?

For capacity reasons, pre-sales of burial plots are not allowed at the Mercury Bay, Buffalo Beach, Coromandel and Colville cemeteries, however pre-sales of ashes plots are. For all other enquiries, please talk to our Customer Services team.


Can I leave flowers on a grave?

Flowers can be left on grave mounds at lawn plots for up to two weeks after which the mound is levelled and sown in grass (dependant on weather conditions). After this it is essential that grassed areas are free of obstructions for mowing purposes and to allow the settling to occur at any newly dug plots nearby.


Can I leave sentimental items on a grave?

Sentimental items must be confined to the base of the headstone and items must not include ceramic or glass of any kind. If broken, it is not only upsetting to next of kin but dangerous to have broken pieces around grave sites where other visitors often kneel.


How do I buy a head stone?

A monumental mason can help you decide on a suitable memorial and can explain the rules that apply. A headstone permit must be obtained from us and any other cemetery fees paid in full prior to installation. Customer Services can assist with your queries.


Can I build a fence or structure around the grave site?

It is not permissible to build fences, structures or place shell, rocks, landscaping timber or other material on lawn plots. We are currently removing such structures from lawn plots throughout the district in liaison with next of kin.

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