Purewa Receives the Green Award for Water Conservation.
New Zealand Cemeteries and Crematoria Collective (NZCCC) recognized Purewa’s strong commitment to environmental awareness with an award at its bi-annual national conference in Wellington last month.
The Green Award acknowledges Purewa’s rainwater harvesting project. The program began in 2021 by reroofing the chapels to allow the collection of rainwater into three 30,000 litre tanks, which Purewa then uses to water the cemetery’s flowering kidney-shaped gardens.
Automated Watering System
It doesn’t stop there. An automated watering system controls the amount of water used during the cooler periods of the day when watering is most effective. Rain sensors automatically tap rainwater first, saving money and dramatically cutting the use of Council-supplied water.
Purewa general manager Alastair Crombie says that Purewa saved 65 per cent of its overall water bill by harvesting rainwater. And because Purewa was in credit with Watercare when the project went live, Purewa didn’t need to pay a water bill for an entire year.
“Receiving this green award from our industry is a real thrill for the Purewa team. It’s a significant award and recognizes our on-going commitment to introducing environmentally friendly practices wherever we can throughout the cemetery,” he says.
More to Come
Another environmental project under consideration is the use of a greywater waste system to flush toilets and clean outdoor equipment in the cemetery workshop, which is now under construction.
Solar power is another possibility in the new workshop. It’s ideal as it can routinely charge batteries for equipment such as mowers, weed eaters and leaf blowers in after-hours periods, Alastair says.
“We are definitely committed to reducing our use of fossil fuels wherever we can throughout the cemetery,” he adds.
While acknowledging the entire Purewa team, Alastair pays special tribute to the former Purewa Cemetery Trust Board Chairman John Priestley and the current Chair Erica Jenkin, for their foresight and engagement with new approaches.
“We are very fortunate to have a Board which draws on a wide range of governance, financial, engineering, legal and architectural expertise to ensure Purewa remains at the forefront of cemetery and crematorium technology and management in Auckland,” he says.