Call for cameras so ‘dead rest in peace’

The Dominion Post - - News - JARED NI­COLL

Other items in­cluded a soon-tobe pub­lished book by Keith Quinn on the 1987 World Cup and a jersey signed by Brad Shields and his team-mates op­pos­ing the Chiefs on Fri­day night. It was pur­chased by Norm Wil­liams, of Lower Hutt New World, for $800.

Fraser played 120 games for the Wellington Lions. He now lives in Perth, where he works for a nickel mine. Van­dal­ism at a small ru­ral ceme­tery north of Wellington has prompted anger from a widow and a promise of tighter se­cu­rity mea­sures.

Mar­i­lyn Aitken is fed up with it and asked Ka¯ piti Coast Dis­trict Coun­cil to in­stall se­cu­rity cameras in Awa Tapu Ceme­tery, near Para­pa­raumu, at a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing.

She’s been go­ing to the ceme­tery along Valley Rd al­most every day since her hus­band died last Novem­ber.

‘‘I have wit­nessed some very up­set­ting things go­ing on up there ... a van driv­ing over graves. My sis­ter ran after him in the drive­way, and asked ‘had he no re­spect?’ He promptly told her where to go.

‘‘The ceme­tery has been used as a race track so the gates get locked at night. There were fresh tyre marks up there [in March] and on Valley Rd. It doesn’t stop peo­ple go­ing into the ceme­tery at night.’’

One time, a ce­ramic photo from her hus­band’s grave­stone was smashed.

As well as se­cu­rity cameras, she also wanted staff to take bet­ter care of graves.

At one point, she con­tacted the coun­cil after be­ing sur­prised to see her hus­band’s plot had dropped about 60 cen­time­tres. The next day, his grave was topped up but oth­ers weren’t.

‘‘The weeds are a big prob­lem up there, be­cause some graves are just weeds, no grass.

‘‘I am ask­ing the coun­cil­lors, the mayor, to help bring this dis­re­spect to an end. Only then can the dead rest in peace up there.’’

Con­cerned neigh­bours pro­vided the coun­cil with a writ­ten out­line of late-night par­ty­ing.

‘‘For years, there’s been is­sues with late-night parties go­ing on in the ceme­tery or hooli­gans blast­ing their mu­sic all hours of the night and do­ing burnouts,’’ their state­ment read.

‘‘The ceme­tery is sup­posed to be a place of rest and peace, yet some­how the hooli­gans seem to run riot at this ceme­tery with no con­se­quence.’’

The group mem­bers have re­ported in­ci­dents to the po­lice.

Any per­son caught not com­ply­ing with ceme­tery reg­u­la­tions could face a fine of up to $20,000.

Te Omanga Hos­pice’s Kirsty Strat­ford was de­lighted to see an im­age of for­mer All Black Bernie Fraser bought by Matt Roberts for $500.

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