27 Sep 2012

Porirua council bans gang insignia on headstones

8:26 pm on 27 September 2012

Porirua City Council has unanimously voted to ban gang insignia from gravestones at its three cemeteries.

At a meeting on Thursday, all 11 councillors favoured the change which will give them the ability to refuse offensive words or symbols such as a swastika on grave markers.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett says it is important that people can be buried in an environment of a high standard.

Taupo District Council and the Hamilton City Council have similar restrictions.

Words or symbols will have to be cleared by the council before they can go up at Pauatahanui Burial Grounds, Porirua Cemetery and the Whenua Tapu Cemetery and Crematorium.

Mr Leggett says this has been happening for years, and the bylaw will only formally identify the process.

He says only one out of 4950headstone engravings have been refused at Whenua Tapu, and it's not a big issue for the city.

Mr Leggett says the council has received legal advice and is confident it is not breaching human rights.