Burials are available at the Council’s main Aramoho Cemetery and at the three small rural cemeteries on request.

A plot must be bought, or already owned by the family, in order for it to be used.

Plots are available at single depth, or in some cases, double depth depending on location.

Within Aramoho Cemetery there is an Islamic area, a natural burials area and Returned Services Association areas.

In addition to the cost of buying a plot, the process of burial also requires a fee. The Council subsidises cemetery costs by 25% – a surcharge on plot purchases and burials is added for those who were not resident in Whanganui at the time of their death. 

Families will also need to consider funeral director costs into their planning. These costs, because they rely on personal choice, are not listed here.

Natural burials

An area within Aramoho Cemetery has been set aside for natural burials.

The philosophy behind natural burials is that the body is not embalmed and is wrapped in a shroud or biodegradable casket rather than a traditional casket. Natural decomposition takes place, returning the body to the earth in a more environmentally-friendly approach.

At Aramoho Cemetery, a native shrub is planted within the next planting season after each interment. Once four interments are completed, the shrubs are removed and a larger native tree is planted in the area. 

No grave markers are permitted because the intention is that this area returns to nature without adornment. 

Please see the Council’s Natural Burials Policy(PDF, 140KB) for further specific detail on the process. 

Buying a plot

You can apply to buy a plot for burial or the interment of ashes.

When you buy a plot from the Council, you become the deed holder of the plot. You get an exclusive right of interment in perpetuity. The deed holder is the only person who can legally decide who will be interred there by issuing a Right of Interment, and is also who may decide what memorials will be placed there. 

To buy a plot you will need to complete the Application to Purchase a Plot form and return it to the sexton. You can also discuss arrangements with your funeral director who will act on your behalf with the sexton if you would prefer.

The sexton will discuss availability and requirements, such as whether you require a double plot or single, and whether you have any additional needs from the plot such as denomination. 

At some of the Council’s sites, ground water may be an issue during winter months or prolonged periods of wet weather.

Before buying a plot your funeral director or the sexton will discuss with you the possibility of water in the grave at the time of interment. This is commonplace throughout New Zealand and it is general practice to pump out excess water before any burial.