File photo: INLSA
There is a looming challenge about what to do with the deceased as the City’s cemeteries are near capacity.

This was highlighted at a hearing conducted by the Cultural Religious and Linguistic (CRL) Rights Commission on access to burial sites.

The purpose of the hearings was for the City to outline its plans when cemeteries were full.

City Parks and Recreation manager Susan Brice said cemeteries getting full was “a huge challenge the City is facing”.

“We are running out of (burial) space. A large majority of our cemeteries are in the last five years of their life span,” she said.

Part of the solution was to bury the dead deeper and then, later, bury the body of another family member on top.

Brice said the City encouraged cremation, but was aware that some religions and cultures were opposed to it, and this had to be respected.

Because of this, the City continued to look for appropriate land.

Brice said that of the 40 cemeteries in the city, only 16 were in use. Only 40% of the population chose to cremate their loved ones and the rest opted for private graves, she said.