6 Jan 2017

Cooks govt not ruling out state crematorium

7:29 pm on 6 January 2017

A proposal to establish a state crematorium in the Cook Islands is not being ruled out by the Health and Justice Ministry.

Almost 200 people gathered at Parliament in New Zealand to commemorate the 45 Cook Island men who enlisted to serve in the First World War 2016.

Families are struggling to find suitable places to bury their loved ones on Rarotonga. Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Cook Islands News reports that there is less and less land available for conventional burials because of demand for land for housing, agriculture and commercial activities increases.

The Health and Justice minister Nandi Glassie said he recognises the issues facing conventional burials in Rarotonga.

But he said establishing a crematorium is something he needs to raise with cabinet and possibly landowners.

The largest Christian denomination in the Cook Islands, the Cook Islands Christian Church, doesn't condone cremation.

However its executive council said it recognises cremation could become a reality in the Cook Islands as landowners are not willing to provide burial grounds for non-family members.

Finding somewhere on Rarotonga to bury loved ones is often a problem, especially for families from other islands.