A proposal to charge a $200 fee to cremate "oversized" caskets is inevitable as New Zealanders get larger, a funeral industry body says.
A report prepared for Hastings District Council said cremating "oversized caskets" takes twice as long as a "standard casket".
A standard cremation takes about two-and-a-half hours and an oversized one between four-and-a-half and five-and-a-half, it said. Oversized is defined as being over 150kg including the casket.
The report said the additional fee was needed to cover increased maintenance, utilities and operating costs, and Hasting's basic fee of $600 was in the low to mid-range compared to other councils.
There has not been any increase in fees since 2012, the report said.
New Zealand Cemeteries and Crematoria Collective chairperson Shelley Angus said as far as she was aware Hastings was the first council to look at charging a fee.
"[But] if it wasn't Hastings it would be another local authority who would be doing it and looking at it because ... that's the way that the population is going in terms of size."
Ms Angus said New Zealanders were fatter and taller than they used to be, and buying and running larger cremators was expensive.
She said most cemeteries were actually running cremations at a loss, and the real price was well over what Hastings was looking at.
Currently only a small number of cremations would be in the oversized category, Ms Angus said, and she understood that in Hastings it comprised about 3 or 4 percent in a year.
But she said this figure would be different in other parts of the country and it was trending upwards.
Ms Angus said many operators in the industry already charged more for larger caskets and plots, and an oversize charge for cremations was just an extension of that.
The owner of Wellington funeral company Broadbent & May, Fiona King, said the costs of providing funeral services was going up at a time when consumers were looking to save money on burials.
Companies have invested in things like chapels to hold services in but consumers were looking to hold services at home to bring costs down, Ms King said.
Ms Angus said between 70 percent and 80 percent of burials were cremations now, compared with between 20 and 30 percent in the 1960s.
"It definitely has been a generational change. Some of it can come down to cost because cremation is cheaper than it is to have a burial.
"And new generations of that culture coming through, being more accepting of cremation."
Hastings District Council will discuss the fee increase at a meeting on Thursday.