NATURAL BURIAL - MAKARA CEMETERY
The Best Option for the Environment
If you want to make the best choice for the environment, then you should consider this option. Please note there are additional charges for people who live out of the Wellington district as is normally the case in other cemeteries.
The unique sense of place has been achieved through a clear guiding concept: the central idea is that everything about the cemetery is as ‘natural’ as possible. In essence, we will not introduce anything to the cemetery which would interfere with, or pollute, environmental processes. For example, to help natural processes, plots are dug only into the active soil layer, the deceased are not embalmed and are buried in coffins of untreated sustainable wood. Plots are filled with aerobic, organically active soil, overplanted with a tree native to the area, and the whole cemetery is gradually restored to native bush.
All of the body nutrients and matter will be gradually absorbed by the surrounding soil and plants. It is intended that the cemetery will become a permanent bush park – a living memorial to those buried there, a home for native flora and fauna, and a beautiful place for family and friends to visit.
No embalming: Bodies buried on this site must not be embalmed. This is to speed up the natural processes of returning the body and its nutrients to the soil, and to reduce the amount of artificial and toxic chemicals and materials we introduce to the soil.
Burial in the upper soil layers: Bodies will be buried as close to or within the active soil layer as possible. Depth will vary according to the soil conditions. Plots will be part refilled with compost to help enrich the soil.
Trees: A native tree will be planted at the head or base of the plot. You can choose from a dozen nursery plants. These trees are the basic building blocks of a native habitat restoration programme.
Over time, other trees will be planted over and around the plot. To improve survival, trees for plots will not be planted by the Council in summer.
Caskets: You must use a casket provided by, or approved by, Natural Burials and are available from the funeral directors linked to this website. These caskets will be made from sustainably grown and harvested woods, with no chemicals or artificial compounds used in treatment of the wood or manufacture of the casket or its accessories.
Plot markers: A non-treated wooden post is sunk into the ground at the head or foot of the plot. You or your family can include on the post cap and sides a poker-burnt engraved inscription of your choice. The marker is designed not to be permanent but the plot and details of the person buried there is marked and drawn on a map held by the Council.
Pre-purchase: When booking a plot for immediate use, you can purchase a second plot alongside for use at a later time. There has been assigned a specific area for partnered-plots. Individual plots can not be pre-purchased.
Plot placement: The bush restoration system means we need to start plots from specific areas. New plots will be placed near newly created ones. So it will not be possible to choose isolated plots.
Artificial memorials: The central concept is to create an environment which is as natural as possible. Those buried here wanted a natural memorial. It follows that we do not condone placing artificial memorials or other material on the site. These may be removed by the sexton.
Artefacts buried with bodies: Please refer to the central concept for a guide on what to include or exclude from caskets. In short, anything artificial would contravene the natural goals of the Cemetery. Only biodegradable items should be placed into the casket. Flowers which are to be buried must not have metal wire, plastic, or floral oasis as part of the arrangement.
Disinterment is discouraged for three reasons;
1) After some years, it is unlikely that much or anything remains of bodies to recover and move;
2) We will need to uproot trees to access and dig the plot, setting back the restoration progress;
3) The wishes of the deceased to be buried at this specific type of cemetery should be respected.
Ash burials are not possible because the cemetery is for body burial, and ashes contain no nutrients.
Placenta burial: There is currently no provision for placenta burial at the site. This may be changed in the future. Please contact Natural Burials or your local Funeral-Link funeral director for alternatives.
Caskets: Caskets approved for Natural Burials are available through your Funeral-Link funeral director.
Funeral and Celebrant services: Costs vary. Please consult your Funeral-Link funeral director.