A fix for sunk burial plots
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.