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Auckland Council

Memorial headstones and plaques

You can personalise a memorial headstone or plaque to honour the dead in cemeteries - but it must comply with guidelines around size and installation.

What you need to install a memorial

Monuments, memorial headstones and plaques can only be installed in Auckland Council cemeteries by Prequal registered monumental installers.

To be an installer, monumental masons must:

  • understand the various memorial designs and dimensions specified by each cemetery
  • comply with the council's health and safety approval requirements
  • demonstrate they have the appropriate resources, knowledge and expertise
  • have had their work appraised against an acceptable external standard
  • preferably be members of the New Zealand Master Monumental Masons Association Inc.

In addition, all above ground monuments must be installed to the NZ 4242: 2018 standards.

Purchasing a plot

You will get help from the cemetery team when you purchase a plot.

The monument installers will apply for a monumental permit on your behalf (which includes an application fee) and arrange the installation.

If you meet all the installation guidelines, we will approve the permit and you can proceed.

Documentation you need to supply to the cemetery

Before you install a headstone or plaque, you must show proof to the cemetery that you are the burial rights holder, or legally entitled.

You can provide a plot purchase receipt, or complete a form to purchase or transfer the exclusive right of burial.

If the person who has died is the burial rights holder, then a family member can complete a burial rights holder statutory declaration form, which needs to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, or a solicitor.

If the burial rights holder is absent (for example, overseas), you will need to submit an authority to act on behalf form.

Get a copy of the forms

Memorial unveilings

To hold an unveiling of your memorial, contact the cemetery team to arrange a time by email aucklandcemeteries@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or phone us on 08004CEMETERY.

You need to provide a date, time, plot location, contact details and the number of people attending.

There is no charge for booking an unveiling ceremony.

Memorial maintenance

Once the monument has been installed, the burial rights holder or their assignee will be responsible for keeping the plot and monument in good repair.

Decorations

You need to put all flowers and adornments in approved receptacles.

You also need to keep them on the concrete beam, without spreading onto neighbouring plots.

We will remove any adornments that prevent cemetery maintenance or do not comply with cemetery guidelines.

Monument conservation in Symonds Street Cemetery

The Symonds Street Cemetery is a significant heritage site, so anyone wishing to do conservation work on any of the monuments needs our permission.

We have prepared a guide to repairing and conserving the monuments, which includes the forms to apply for permission.

Get a copy of the guide

Let us know if your details change

We need to keep accurate cemetery records.

If you are the burial rights holder for the plot (or their assignee) and your details change, contact the cemetery office for an update.

See a list of cemetery locations.

Find out more about memorials, headstones and plaques

If you need more information, email aucklandcemeteries@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or phone us on 08004CEMETERY