People will have to get in quick to reserve a plot at the country’s biggest cemetery, as it is soon to run out of space.

Records show more than 90,000 people have been laid to rest in various ways at Waikumete Cemetery in the west Auckland suburb of Glen Eden.

The cemetery, which is also one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, is one of two Auckland cemeteries to provide for Muslim burials and the only one to provide for Jewish burials.

It also has a large crematorium – which at the weekend was opened up for visitors to look at to better understand how the process works.

Local politician Sandra Coney says Waikumete Cemetery is a rich part of New Zealand’s history.

A large number of the thousands killed during the influenza epidemic in 1918 are buried there, she says.

“There are notorious criminals, there are sports people like Bruce McLaren. There’s also three [Victoria Cross] winners, some of our most decorated soldiers, like Stanley Judson.”

Coney has three generations of family buried at the cemetery, and she too wants to eventually be laid to rest there.

She has already bought a plot for herself at Waikumete to ensure that can happen.

Others might soon have to do the same, as the cemetery is running out of space for burials.

“There’s only about four years more capacity in this cemetery,” she says.

 

 

Read the full article in the NZ Herald

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