Council to pay quake burial plot costs after all

4:00 pm on 12 January 2012

Christchurch City Council now says it will pay the cost of both interment and a plot at a memorial cemetery site for the city's earthquake victims, after family members accused it of reneging on the offer.

The council sent a letter to the families of the victims before Christmas saying it would cover the costs, only to apologise and tell the families it was a mistake and that it would only cover the interment costs.

This would have meant families having to pay $349.60 for the plot at the memorial site being developed at Avonhead Park Cemetery.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says he is extremely sorry for the distress it has caused the families and it should never have happened.

Mr Parker says he was made aware of the mistake only on Thursday and is also upset by it.

"It was a misunderstanding that should never have been one that the families had to face.

"They were made a very clear initial offer of the cost of both interment and the plot - that would be met by the council. That was the offer they were made; we should never have at a staff level gone back on that."

The mayor says about 20 people have indicated that they wish to purchase plots at the site.