Category Archives: News

Long-term spending – Cemeteries & crematorium

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This post looks at Hamilton’s long-term budgeted spending on Cemeteries and the crematorium from the early 2000s to 2028.

A bit of history first: ‘Council’s cemeteries and crematorium provide burial and cremation facilities and appropriate environments for memorialisation. Hamilton Park Cemetery has served the community since 1957, with the crematorium and chapel facilities operating since 1963. The cemetery currently operates on fourteen hectares with a further eighteen hectares available for future development. Council is also responsible for Hamilton West Cemetery, which opened in 1869 and was closed in 1975, and Hamilton East Cemetery, which opened in 1866.’ from 2009/19 LTP Vol 1 page 136. For more detail here is a link to the ‘Hamilton Cemeteries Plan 2015’ (HCP 2015)

The plan shows that the cemeteries and crematorium get almost no rate payer funding; instead it comes from charges, as shown in Table 2 above, taken from the 2012/22 LTP Vol 2, page 62. You can see income in the 2018-28 LTP on page 94. For a bit of background on the number of persons/bodies using the cemeteries, see this informative article from the Waikato Times: ‘Rising cremation demand may force 10-hour days at Hamilton crematorium’ by Libby Wilson 12:01, Oct 06 2017

Forest Grove Natural Burial

One would think that since everyone dies, there is a predictable pattern to long term demand.

‘According to Statistics New Zealand, annual deaths within the Hamilton Park Cemetery catchment are projected to increase from 2,644 in 2015 to 4,184 in 2045.’ (HCP 2015, page5)

The spike at the start of the 2018-28 plan includes a previously unbudgeted accessible toilet block at Hamilton cemetery being currently built as part of the crematorium building upgrade. The spike at the end of the 2018-28 plan is for future land acquisition. Only the 2015-25 and 2018-28 plans allowed for increasing costs; all earlier plans budgeted for reduced spending, which seems a bit odd for a growing city.

Category: News

Long-term spending – Library

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This is the beginning of a project to measure changes in Hamilton’s long term capital projects budgeting. As a starting point, this post looks at the 2000-01 (p91), 2002-12 (p222), and 2004-14 (Vol II p264) Library collection purchase budget, when spending just under $900k was seen as reasonable. In the early 2000s Hamilton’s population was about 120,000. In 2018 it is close to 170,000, which is a nominal 40% increase. Is it fair to increase the 2004 predicted expenditure of $900k by 40% to $1,260k, and would it be fair to add 14 years of inflation (2004 Q2 to 2018 Q2) to the $1,260k, making it now $1,676k (including both population growth of 40% and inflation of 33%)

In year one of the 2006-16 budget, expenditure increased to $1,039. In 2018 money this is $1,292, and adding 34% pop growth provides a total of $1,731k

The 2009-19 budget planned to spend $2,489k in year 2018/19, which in 2018 money is $2,865k

The 2012-22 budget planned to spend $1,519 in 2018/19, which in 2018 dollars would have been $1,618k

In 2018 council approved $1,135k (p58) for Library collection purchases.

‘The libraries are the most visited of all Council facilities, with more than a million visits annually … We only spend $7.74 per head of population [2015], which is less per capita than libraries in all the other major New Zealand cities … Children and young people are major users of the library’ (Hamilton City Libraries strategic plan 2015-2025). In 2018 we averaged 28,200 people per library. With the planned Library in Rototuna village, Hamilton will be back to 24,000 people per Library.

The Library collection purchase budget available to Hamilton’s library staff is very low. Even looking at the budget totals (excluding Rototuna) none of these are close to the level of investment in the early 2000s.

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Category: News