A fix for sunk burial plots

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - NIGEL MOFFIET

Restora­tion work is un­der­way in one south Auck­land ceme­tery in an ef­fort to fix sink­ing burial plots.

Auck­land Coun­cil is work­ing to re­pair ex­ten­sive ground un­du­la­tion at Set­tle­ment Rd ceme­tery in Pa­pakura.

The work will cost just over $31,000 and is ex­pected to be fin­ished by late Oc­to­ber.

Ma­nurewa-Pa­pakura Ward coun­cil­lor Daniel New­man is back­ing the project which he says is ‘‘long over­due’’.

‘‘This process will in­volve scour­ing and top­ping up graves cur­rently suf­fer­ing sig­nif­i­cant un­du­la­tions, fol­lowed by re­plant­ing to re­store a con­sis­tent con­tour in the lawn ceme­tery.

‘‘This is another ex­am­ple of work that is tak­ing place to re­store Pa­pakura’s ceme­ter­ies as lo­ca­tions where we hon­our our fore­bears and re­spect their mem­ory,’’ New­man says.

Lo­cal board mem­ber Ge­orge Hawkins says the re­pair work is about hon­our­ing ‘‘the fi­nal rest­ing place’’ of the town’s ear­li­est set­tlers.

Hawkins points to past res­i­dents such as Rev­erend Thomas Nor­rie, his daugh­ter and district suf­fragette El­li­son Mac­far­lane Nor­rie and former Pa­pakura Mayor Arch Camp­bell who are all buried at the ceme­tery.

‘‘We owe it to their mem­ory to un­der­take these re­pairs.

‘‘The restora­tion of the lawn ceme­tery and the con­struc­tion of re­place­ment paths is the first step in what will be an on­go­ing ef­fort at Set­tle­ment Road,’’ he says.

Work was also com­pleted this year at nearby Pa­pakura South Ceme­tery on Gat­land Rd.

That saw $240,000 spent on new paths, land­scap­ing, a new scat­ter­ing ter­race, a chil­dren’s ter­race and im­prove­ments to the RSA burial sec­tion.

The new paths are de­signed to give bet­ter ac­cess to grave sites, par­tic­u­larly for the el­derly and dis­abled.

Lo­cal Board chair­man Brent Catch­pole says fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing the area’s ceme­ter­ies was a pre-elec­tion com­mit­ment.

‘‘Fam­i­lies of those in plots have, over a num­ber of years, been ask­ing the lo­cal board to make it eas­ier for them to have ac­cess.

‘‘So this has been an on­go­ing re­quest from many fam­i­lies ... to im­prove the ac­cess to their loved ones’ graves.

‘‘Just as we seek to im­prove our sports fields, play­grounds and es­planade re­serves, we also seek to up­hold the dig­nity of our fore­bears who en­joy their eter­nal rest in Pa­pakura,’’ Catch­pole says.

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