Joint Media Release by Natural Burials Organisation and Taupō District Council:
3 August 2021
Taupō’s Natural Burial zone formally certified
A new natural burial zone recently opened by the Taupō District Council has now been certified by the Natural Burials organisation.
Natural burials use nature’s own decomposition process: non-embalmed bodies are placed in untreated wood caskets, and buried in shallower graves than usual, with trees grown in the area above.
The zone in the main Taupō Cemetery on Rickit Street has been certified for meeting the organisation’s protocols governing manner of burial, for ease of access, room for expansion, and focus on public communication.
Mark Blackham, Natural Burials’ Founder and spokesperson, said the zone took pride of place near the entrance to the cemetery.
“The stand of native bush growing there will become iconic to the cemetery and will be a permanent memorial for those buried there.
“We’re thrilled that the council has agreed to apply the principle of adding nothing synthetic to the soil, and to let nature do its work,” Mr Blackham said.
He said practical considerations were important for the success of natural burials, including access and layout. “It’s a great boon that it is very easy for families and friends, and future visitors, to get to the flat site and use it.”
Natural Burials applauded the commitment of the council and in particular, cemetery manager Kieran Smith, in delivering on the expectations of the local community.
In turn, Mr Smith congratulated his team on their hard work in making this increasingly popular option for people and families who hold strong environmental beliefs to be buried at Taupō Cemetery in line with their philosophies.
“We are all extremely proud to have successfully provided this important choice,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Christine Rankin said the new natural burial zone is a brilliant step forward in giving people in the Taupō District a greater choice in how they wish their remains to be returned to the earth.
“Now, if that is their wish, a person can ensure their body naturally reintegrates itself into the soil for the benefit of the environment.”
A group of Taupō residents had been advocating for natural burials, and over 50 people turned up to view the prepared site recently.
“Our surveys show that at least one third of locals are enthusiastic about natural burials. It gives many people some happiness to think their body will be there after they die. We can be confident there will be plenty of future users of the site,” Mr Blackham said.
Contact: Mark Blackham, 021 891 042