4 Oct 2013

Law Commission wants feedback on burial laws

6:29 pm on 4 October 2013

The Law Commission wants public feedback on ideas for changing laws governing burial and cremation.

The commission is proposing to change the law to allow private burial grounds, and legalising burials on private land, such as family farms.

It also wants a statutory system set up to more easily resolve family disputes about burial without resorting to lengthy and expensive court battles.

In 2007, the death of James Takamore sparked a long legal battle, after his body was taken to the Bay of Plenty for burial by his Tuhoe family, against the wishes of his Pakeha partner.

The commission is proposing such issues be dealt with by the Family Court and the Maori Land Court.

That suggestion has been welcomed by lawyer Gary Knight, who acted for James Takamore's partner.

He says some changes need to be made to the law to avoid another Takamore-type case.

Law Commission chief commissioner Wayne Mapp says it has also been consulting with funeral directors about regulating the sector and increasing the transparency of burial and cremation costs.