Rights to burial

In simple terms, 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.

It is best to indicate who is allowed to be buried in the plot at the time you purchase it. This can avoid family disputes at a later date.

It is not like a real estate sale meaning that you don’t own the ‘land’ area (plot) and are not able to plant vegetation or gardens on the plot. Find out what you can and cannot place around your loved one's grave at tcdc.govt.nz/memorialoptions

Once the fees have been paid in full for a plot, we issue a Plot Reservation Certificate. This is an important document, it is advisable to give a copy to a member/s of your family and your Lawyer/Solicitor, this way your family will be aware of your plot purchase before you pass away.

Your rights to use the plot last for 60 years, if it has not been used after this time your rights to use the plot lapse automatically and we may then make the plot available again. You may approach us to extend the burial rights if you still wish to use the plot in the future. A charge may be apply to do this.

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 or Trustee/s of the original plot purchaser or having inherited the rights to use the plot. A statutory declaration will be asked for in this instance. If evidence cannot be supplied we may consider requests to inter provided all living close family members agree. Close family include: grandparents, parents, siblings, children, spouses, civil union partners, or de facto partners.

You may transfer your rights to other close family members or choose to sell your burial rights back to us. We will refund the amount of money that you paid when you purchased the plot originally.

Please contact our Customer Services staff if you would like any further information. Call us on 07 868 0200 or e-mail at customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz