Murder victim on council’s graveside clean up list

TREASURED: Lisa Hurrell, who died in 1998 is buried at the Prebbleton Cemetery. Before the cemetery bylaw changed in 2011, her family received permission from the district council to have a concrete edging placed around her burial plot for her ornaments.

Families are being asked to clean up the ornaments at the district’s burial sites – or the memorabilia will be removed.

“The district council is in the process of contacting extended family to inform them the adornments do not comply with the cemetery bylaw. People need to rearrange the adornments or the items will be removed,” a district council spokesman said.

Under the cemetery bylaw, ornaments may only be placed on the grave beams either surrounding the burial plots or on the beams where the headstone sits.

A district council spokesman said in some cases people have put objects on the lawn beside the graves.

“This creates a hazard for other cemetery users who could trip on objects and also makes maintaining the cemetery very difficult,” he said.

For older burial plots the ornaments may sit on the large grave beams surrounding the burial plot.

But for new areas of the cemetery, ornaments may only be placed on the beam next to the headstone – not on the grass in front of the headstone.

It comes after the district council published a list of people buried at Prebbleton Cemetery in a bid to contact next of kin.

The list was for burial sites that did not comply with the cemetery bylaw and who the district council had no contacts of next of kin.

In 2011, the cemetery bylaw was changed to tighten up what the district council viewed as acceptable and unacceptable for ornaments at burial sites.

But the bylaw is now currently being reviewed and has gone out for public consultation – a hearing is to be held on March 8.

It said this was because the district council had moved towards lawn cemeteries where the beams are level with the grass.

Deputy mayor Malcolm Lyall said some cultures view the decoration around their loved one’s grave site as very special and spend a lot of time there as part of their cultural practices.

“We have to draw the line because the decoration does tend to get out of hand at times,” he said.

Mr Lyall said ornaments can get blown away and into the mowers maintaining the area causing it to become a hazard and untidy.

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One of the names listed on the Prebbleton Cemetery list was Lisa Hurrell who was beaten and stabbed to death in her Hornby home in 1998 by Terry Jason Nahi.

WELL-LOVED: Lisa Hurrell, 21, was murdered in her Hornby home in 1998 by Terry Jason Nahi.

Nahi was jailed for life in 1999 to the charge of murdering Miss Hurrell, with whom he had been in a stormy and tempestuous relationship since she was 14.

He was the father of her three children, but she had a protection order against him at the time.

The district council contacted Miss Hurrell’s family asking the bottle and beer cans to be removed from outside of the grave surrounds – but the other ornaments at the site will not be removed.

Before the bylaw was changed, Miss Hurrell’s family received permission from the district council to have a concrete edging placed around her burial plot. This was to allow the ornaments and flowers to remain within the concrete edging.

Lisa’s mother Carolyn Hurrell said there were some empty beer cans in front of the concrete edging of Lisa’s grave which she has removed.

She was relieved the district council was not asking for the ornaments within the concrete edging to be removed from Lisa’s grave.

When Selwyn Times asked if other families could receive permission to have a concrete guard built around the burial plots, the district council said it would only be done on a case by case basis for the older plots in the cemetery.

“Permission will not be given to graves in newer areas of the cemeteries,” a district council spokesman said.

It said this was because the district council had moved towards lawn cemeteries where the beams are level with the grass.

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