Burial services

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Natural Burial


In 2013, Hamilton Park Cemetery launched its natural burials service.

Natural burials are an increasingly popular option for people and families who hold strong environmental beliefs or philosophies.

Natural burials typically involve the burial of an un-embalmed body in a biodegradable casket or shroud in a relatively shallow plot to promote rapid aerobic decomposition of the body. 

In most cases the burial sites are marked by plantings rather than headstones or other non-biodegradable memorials. Sites have a natural appearance, often taking the form of a managed forest or meadow - at Hamilton Park Cemetery, we have set aside the Forest Grove area for natural burials.

As natural burials differ considerably from conventional burials – primarily through the absence of embalming fluids, which may make it unsuitable to arrange a viewing of the deceased – we recommend natural burials occur within three days of death.

Cemetery staff generally require eight working hours notice to arrange a natural burial, but we will work closely with families to ensure the deceased person's wishes are met and that the family's needs are catered to in a professional and respectful way.

The Forest Grove area set aside for natural areas is in its infancy and its growth and development are a long-term project.  Over time, as more natural burials take place, the Forest Grove will feature more planting of native tree species  to reflect the name chosen for this lawn.

More information on natural burials

 Download or view a flier about our natural burials service (PDF, 400KB).​​

​Casket Burial

Prior to the family arriving at the cemetery the assigned plot will be dug and dressed ready for the interment of the casket.

The family will be asked in advance by their funeral director if they wish to fill in the plot (backfill) themselves. Should they choose this option the funeral director, along with cemetery staff, will guide the family through this process at the appropriate time.

Should a family choose not to backfill, the plot will be reinstated by cemetery staff after the family has left the site. Any flowers left by the family will be placed on the plot and will remain there for seven days.

Please refer to information on the appropriate burial lawn for details on plot management, including items that are not permitted to remain on the plot.


The last booking time for casket burials, Monday to Friday, is 3.00pm.

Any burials outside of these hours will need prior approval from cemetery management and will incur an after hours fee, including all burials on a Saturday.

Where possible bookings should be made at least 24 hours in advance. Please contact a funeral director or the Hamilton Park Cemetery office to discuss booking times.

For all burials, the    Casket Burial Warrant (PDF, 140 KB) must be completed and received by the Hamilton Park Cemetery office at least 24 hours prior to the burial.

Authority to Open

For those plots that have already been used or are still unused more than three (3) months after the initial reservation date, an Authority to Open must be submitted to the cemetery in writing and signed either by the person(s) holding the Burial Rights to the requested plot or by the funeral director acting on behalf of family. Any questions concerning this Authority, please contact the Hamilton Park Cemetery office.

The Authority to Open form is page two of the above Burial Warrant.

Application and Agreement for Exclusive Right of Burial

​This form (PDF, 84 KB) is to be completed for the purchase of all new plots. It provides the opportunity for the family member who is arranging the burial and/or plot reservation to nominate another person to have the Exclusive Right of Burial or authority to the selected plot. Any questions concerning this Application form or Burial Rights, please contact the Hamilton Park Cemetery office

Ash Interment in a Burial Lawn

Ashes can be interred in a burial plot. In most cases the ashes are placed under the headstone or lawn plaque. Occasionally family may wish to wait until a casket burial takes place within the plot and then place the ashes inside the casket. If the latter applies, we would appreciate notification so that we can update our cemetery records.

Please refer to Ashes Interment for booking procedures.  

Purchasing Plots

With the exception of the areas set aside for our Returned Service men and women, burial plots can be purchased in advance. This can assist in ensuring other family members can rest alongside their loved ones as well as making future burial arrangements a little easier for families.

With the exception of the Kowhai and Apple Blossom Lawns, which are both designed for the young, plots at Hamilton Park Cemetery are now dug to allow for two casket burials and four sets of ashes in the same plot.

All used plots are held in perpetuity in the name of the owner of the burial rights. As per the Bylaws (PDF, 473KB), Council retains the right to close unused plots after 60 years, without the need to consult family.

A one-off lawn maintenance fee is included in the purchase price.

Denominational Areas

Hamilton Park Cemetery has designated areas set aside for the Muslim, Jewish and Exclusive Brethren of Hamilton City and the wider Waikato Region.

Approval to bury or reserve plots in any of the denominational areas must be given by the delegated leaders from that community.

If you have any queries about these areas, please contact the Cemetery Manager during working hours. For assistance outside office hours, please call Council's after hours service.​​

Page reviewed: 02 Aug 2017 4:17pm