Cemetery Study Reveals Capacity and Shortfalls in Auckland

West runs into deficits, North and South able to take growth


From Auckland Council:

Council completes comprehensive cemetery study 

Auckland Council’s most comprehensive cemetery study to date tackles future capacity challenges and identifies ways to ensure Auckland has sufficient burial capacity for the next 20 years.

In a report presented to the Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee, Auckland Council’s Manager Auckland Cemeteries Catherine Moore said while there currently is capacity in the Auckland region from council owned and privately owned cemeteries for body burials, shortages are starting to appear.

“Several of Auckland Council’s cemeteries are expected to reach full capacity within the next ten years.

“Auckland currently experiences around 8000 deaths per year. As the population grows and ages, we expect this to reach just over 12,000 per year by 2038, with council needing to provide 30-60,000 body burial plots over the next 30 years.

“We have looked at current supply, taken into account future growth projections and where we expect to see increased demand, and given thought to future supply options,” she says.

The report largely examines the demand for burials, which require more physical space and surrounding infrastructure, over cremation which despite being more popular has a lesser impact on our cemetery capacity. It looks at areas that will come under increased pressure, based on current growth projections and burial trends, and is the ground work required for a long-term acquisition and investment plan.

Committee Chair Councillor Christine Fletcher says this report demonstrates responsible stewardship and forward planning.

“Cemetery provision is an important council responsibility; it is our job to make sure that the needs of Aucklanders are met and that good decisions are made along the way.

“This is not an easy task, in a changing and growing region, but this detailed study gives us a high level of confidence when making decisions and setting priorities for the future,” she says.

Future supply options may include expansion and land acquisition.

“We look forward to the next stage of this future planning process,” says Cr Fletcher.


Key points from report:

  • Number of deaths in Auckland region expected to reach 12,000 per annum by 2038
  • Auckland Central-West has least capacity
  • New developments offer significant increased capacity in the North and South
  • Albany, Hobsonville, Massey and central Auckland are forecast to show high levels of population growth in the next 20 years however the highest number of deaths is forecast near Orewa.
  • Demand is determined by four main factors: the number of people who die; their location; the methods of interment and the proportion who choose to be buried in council-owned cemeteries.
  • The next step is to investigate future supply options which includes the potential to acquire new land.



The Report: