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Category Administration and Management
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 17 April 2013
Date Policy Took Effect 30 April 2013
Last approved revision 8 March 2021
Sponsor Director, Property Services
Responsible officer Strategic Architect, Campus Development


To manage:

  • memorials
  • the design and placement of memorial plaques;
  • the placement of dedicated trees, benches and other physical memorials; and
  • entries in the University of Otago Memorial and Commemorative Register.

Organisational scope

All University of Otago owned and managed property located in Dunedin and elsewhere in relation to memorial services, the placement of physical memorials and the compilation of entries for the Memorial and Commemorative Register. It does not include memorials located off-campus.


All land and buildings owned or occupied or for the time being controlled by the University of Otago anywhere in New Zealand.
A service, structure, tree or plaque that commemorates a person, group or an event.
Dedicated Tree
A native tree for planting on the Dunedin campus.
University of Otago Memorial and Commemorative Register
An on-line (printable) compilation of epitaphs and information on the location of physical memorials to a person, group or event located on the University campus.


1. Memorial Services

  1. Memorial services, to commemorate the life of students and staff who have died while studying or working at the University, may be held on the University campus. Such services are to be conducted by the University Chaplains, local kaumatua or other persons approved by the Registrar or Director, Student and Academic Services. In all cases, advice should be sought from the Office of Māori Development.
  2. This extends to include former long-serving members of staff and to others closely connected to the University as approved by the Registrar.
  3. Requests for memorial services should be submitted to the Registrar or the Director, Student and Academic Services.
  4. No human remains (including ashes) are allowed on Campus as part of a memorial service or related event. The burial or scattering of ashes is not permitted on Campus.
  5. Funeral services are not permitted on Campus.

2. Campus Memorial Wall and Walk

  1. A Campus Memorial Wall and Walk has been established at the Dunedin Campus on the banks of the Leith, between Leith Walk and the Clyde Street bridge, as a dedicated location for the placement of plaques and the planting of trees requested by families, heads of University departments, or others.
  2. The design, format and placement of plaques will be managed by the Director, Property Services. Plaques will be of consistent design and presentation and will not include photographs.
  3. Only one plaque per individual, group or event will be permitted and the cost of the plaque will be borne by the requester.
  4. All requests for placement of a plaque on the Memorial Wall should be submitted to Property Services and will be subject to the approval of the Registrar or the Director, Student and Academic Services.
  5. Consumption and food preparation should not take place in the area designated for the Memorial Wall and Walk.
  6. Any future alterations to the Memorial Wall and Walk will be carried out in consultation with the Director of the Office of Māori Development.

3. Dedicated Trees

  1. The planting of a dedicated tree is restricted to the Campus Memorial Wall and Walk area.
  2. The following conditions apply:
    1. Requests for dedicated trees should be submitted to Property Services and will be subject to the approval of the Registrar or the Director, Student and Academic Services.
    2. Dedicated trees must be selected from an approved species list provided by Property Services.
    3. Dedicated 21 trees approved species list
      Māori Name Common Name
      Manatu Ribbonwood
      Houhere Lacebark
      Tawhairauriki Mountain Beech
      Tawhai Silver Beech
      Tawhairaunui New Zealand Red Beech
      Ngaio Ngaio
      Rata Southern Rata
      Rimu Red Pine
      Kokukutuku Tree Fuchsia
      Manuka Tea Tree
      Kanuka White Tea Tree
      Totara Totara
      Miro Miro
      Matai Black Pine
      Ti kouka Cabbage Tree
      Kahikatea White Pine
      Kowhai Kowhai
      Horoeka Lancewood
      Tarata Lemonwood
      Rewarewa New Zealand Honeysuckle
    4. The location of a dedicated tree will be included in the Memorial and Commemorative Register.  Commemorative plaques will not be permitted at the location of the tree.  Commemorative plaques must be located on the Memorial Wall.
    5. The cost of the tree will be borne by the requester.

4. Memorial and Commemorative Register

  1. All approved requests will be included within the Memorial and Commemorative Register, however approval for additional commemoration (description) will require the approval of the Registrar or the Director, Student and Academic Services.
  2. The word limit shall be approximately 150 words.
  3. Submissions may be edited for format, length, duplication of information and typographical errors before inclusion in the Register.
  4. The Director of Property Services shall ensure that the on-line memorial and commemorative register is regularly updated so that it remains current.

5. Other Memorials

  1. Requests for memorials other than as described in Clauses 1 to 4 above will be considered on a case by case basis by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Director of Property Services and The Director of The Office of Māori Development.

6. Existing Memorials

  1. All existing memorials present on campus on or before 8 March 2021 shall remain in situ or, with appropriate consultation, be accommodated or relocated in any redevelopment or landscaping of the campus.

7. Approval Authority

The Director, Student and Academic Services has the approval authority for student memorial applications.

The Registrar has the approval authority for staff and all other non-student memorial applications.

8. Application Process

Applicants should make contact with the Campus Chaplains to discuss applications for memorials in the first instance;  The Application Form should be prepared by the applicant, and submitted by the Campus Chaplains for formal approval thereafter in consultation with the applicant.  Should an application be approved, Campus Chaplains will advise the applicant of the decision and arrange for the relevant Memorial.

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this Policy or need further clarification, contact:

Gordon Roy
Strategic Architect, Campus Development

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