9 Apr 2010

Higher cremation fees proposed in New Plymouth

7:35 pm on 9 April 2010

A funeral director in New Plymouth says a proposal to almost double council fees for cremation could force people to drive as far as Whanganui to use the crematorium.

New Plymouth District Council's draft budget proposes increasing the cost of cremating adults to $1512.

The draft budget suggests the cost for cremating children should also rise, from $400 t $706.

Vospers Funeral Home manager Bruce Hanrahan says the new charges are extremely high, and more than any other crematorium in the region.

He says families already pay up to $10,000 for a funeral and will not be happy with the increase.

Council parks manager Mark Bruhn says the fee increase is being considered because the Taranaki crematorium has lost business since a private crematorium opened last year.

Mr Bruhn says the council is aware the higher charges are a big ask, especially in the current economic climate.

Public submissions on the proposal close at the end of April.