Appendix A
Suggested default provisions for community managers of cemeteries

In Chapter 12, we proposed that the new statute should contain basic default provisions in a schedule to the statute providing powers and obligations for community managers of cemeteries. The following is a suggested list of those provisions.


1These default provisions apply to any group of people who, when this provision comes into force, are operating as community managers of a cemetery. “Community manager” in this Schedule means a person who makes most of the day-to-day decisions in respect of a cemetery such as the provision of burial plots, maintenance of the grounds and the keeping of burial records, whether under a formal or de facto delegation from the cemetery owner.


2It is the function of community managers to control and manage the cemetery in respect of which the manager was appointed.

Powers and dutiesTop

3Community managers have the powers and obligations of cemetery managers under the new statute.

4In addition, community managers have all the powers necessary to fulfil their function. Those powers include the power to:

  • enter into contracts for the sale of plots for burial, either in perpetuity or for a limited tenure;
  • dig graves, establish monuments and undertake landscaping and maintenance; and
  • make rules binding on the public for the management of the cemetery, including the terms of any contract to purchase a plot, control of access to the cemetery and limits on memorialisation around graves.

5Community managers must exercise all powers under the new statute for the purpose of the management, administration or improvement of the cemetery.

Consequences of a breach of dutyTop

6Any person who is a community manager and who exercises a power for a purpose other than the management, administration or improvement of the cemetery commits an offence.

Appointment and removalTop

7At all times, there should be at least three community managers in respect of a cemetery.

8A community manager may resign by providing notice to that effect to the relevant local authority.

9If a community manager dies, resigns, is removed, is absent from New Zealand for a period of at least one year or is otherwise unable or unwilling to fulfil the role of community manager, the relevant local authority may appoint a new community manager.

10Local authorities may determine any limit to the term of the appointment.

11An appointment of a community manager is not valid unless the person has consented to his or her appointment.

12The name and contact details of all community managers must be noted on the local authority’s cemetery register.

13Upon the appointment of a new community manager, all property held by any departing or previous manager automatically vests in the new manager. Community managers hold all cemetery property as joint tenants. The District Land Registrar should have a power to amend the certificate of title of any land held as cemetery property upon receipt of notice of the appointment.

14The local authority may revoke a community manager’s appointment if:

15However, before any local authority revokes an appointment, it must:


16Community managers must make all significant decisions by a majority.

17Community managers have no legal capacity as a group. All actions of a community manager are undertaken as an individual in his or her own name.


18Community managers must ensure that accurate financial records are kept in respect of cemetery property and money received and that those records are available for inspection on the request of the local authority.492

492The Public Audit Act 2001 should no longer apply to these cemeteries.