Kāwhia & Ōtorohanga Cemeteries - Gravesite Damage

Over the past two months, during routine inspections of our cemeteries at Kāwhia and Ōtorohanga, we have found damage to numerous gravesites and head stones. We are unsure of the cause of the damage but have found several foot prints on some of the gravesites. We want to remind everyone that gravesites are a site of significance, and out of respect – no one should be walking or standing on the graves.


We also want people to be aware that due to the age of many of the gravesites – the concrete material used to cover the burial site has become very brittle and therefore is easily damaged. Age, wear and tear will cause the material to deteriorate naturally, but this process is sped up considerably if people walk and stand on the gravesites. As these gravesites and their maintenance are the responsibility of the family of the deceased, it is not only costly but also upsetting for family and loved ones to see a gravesite damaged.

Furthermore, harm could be caused to someone if they are standing on the grave when the concrete material gives way.


If you see anyone causing damage in any of our cemeteries, please notify Council right away by calling 07 873 4000.

Any further enquires can be directed to Jared Le Fleming – Community Facilities Officer.