Building work will begin shortly to upgrade the chapel and crematorium at Whenua Tapu Cemetery in Porirua.
This treasured community asset was built in 1982 and has had very little done to it since then. Upgrade works to occur include earthquake strengthening, a new roof, asbestos remediation, painting, bathrooms, and family area.
The work is expected to take about six months to complete.
The cremator has reached the end of its useful life and the resource consent to operate it runs out in June. Cremators are not manufactured in New Zealand, so a new purpose-built one has been sourced from Australia.
This project was kicked off in 2018, with Council committing to replace the cremator in the Long-term Plan. Options for the building upgrade were offered for public consultation in 2019 and the preferred option approved with an overall budget of $2.1 million.
Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says Whenua Tapu is an important place of memory and mourning for our community.
"The temporary closure will unavoidably inconvenience some, but the repairs are necessary and overdue so we hope those affected will understand," she says.
"We're determined to restore Whenua Tapu to a standard befitting the important function it serves in our community. The upgrades will mean it can continue to do so for decades to come."
Ms Baker pointed out that the rest of the cemetery will not be closed during the project, allowing families and visitors continued access to visit loved ones.
The Council is working closely with funeral directors, who can help with alternative arrangements for funerals and cremations elsewhere in the region during the coming months.
The memorial plaques outside the chapel will be securely and safely stored during the construction work, while the Remembrance Book will be relocated to the main Porirua Library
11 Feb 2021