Whilst cemetery conservation is an established practice in some parts of the world, in New Zealand both the concept and practice are new.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that as families are formed and reformed, as some families disappear and as others move, cemeteries and grave-sites will become a community rather than a family responsibility.
Cemeteries offer us a sense of continuity and connectedness with the past, and they serve as a unique visual record of our shared past.
The Trust has been established with the principal aim of identifying and preserving New Zealand's historic cemeteries as an essential element of this nation's cultural heritage.
The Trust, formed in January 2002 is operated by a group of trustees with the skills necessary to achieve its objectives. It also recognises the importance of working with other like minded organisations and individuals who can assist in achieving the Trust's objectives. The Trust members meet monthly to conduct the business of cemeteries conservation in all its functions.
Why have a cemeteries Trust?
- To act as the prime source of information on the conservation of Historic cemeteries through out New Zealand. Historic is defined as those cemeteries which have been established for 50 + years.
- To initiate cemetery conservation values and establish conservation priorities.
- To advise and cooperate with interested groups and individuals in the conservation of family graves and to facilitate a broad understanding of the importance of cemetery conservation for future generations.
- To create awareness of the role of cemeteries in the fabric of our society and as a repository of historic significance.
- To set meaningful guidelines for the establishment of communities of interest in cemetery conservation.
- To assist in the formulation of conservation plans for historic cemeteries.
The Trust's Business
- The Trust aims to raise funds to assist with the coordination and understanding of the various requirements for the conservation of cemeteries and conduct its business at all times with the express purpose of facilitating the conservation programme for historic cemeteries.
- The Trust will engage in a range of activities associated with cemeteries that will facilitate the promotion of conservation values, awareness of the Trusts activities and fund raising, and develop public education programmes with the express purpose of creating awareness and an interest in cemetery conservation in line with the Trust's objectives.
- To form strategic alliances with other groups where cooperation with these groups will enhance the conservation of historic cemeteries and achieve the Trust's conservation objectives.
- To encourage the formation of local organisations (Friends) to assume responsibility for the professional conservation of historic cemeteries and to provide appropriate support and assistance to these groups.
National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) Guidelines for Cemetery Conservation
Celestina Sagazio (Editor) Cemeteries Our Heritage
James Semple Kerr The Conservation Plan