Maintenance damage at Manukau Memorial Gardens

Publish Date : 10 May 2017
Manukau Memorial Gardens Children's Section 2
The affected area of the Children's Section
Manukau Memorial Gardens children's section 1
The affected area of the Children's Section

Updated 6.40pm:

Maintanence contractor Downer is donating $10,000 to Starship following unacceptable work carried out in the children’s area of Manukau Memorial Gardens this week.

Damage in the children's area was discovered yesterday, and Auckland Council is working closely with Downer to ensure this does not happen again.

Some flowers and small adornments from two burial beams at the Western Lawn babies’ section one, affecting approximately 170 plots, were damaged during maintenance of the surrounding lawns.

Manukau Memorial Gardens childrens section
The map highlights the affected area of the cemetery

Catherine Moore, Manager Auckland Cemeteries, is encouraging parents to contact the cemetery as soon as possible.

"We'd like parents of children buried in this area of the cemetery to contact us  so we can determine if any damage has been done to adornments on their plot. Staff members will be on site at the children’s area today to speak with visitors.

"Auckland Council is very disappointed that the damage has occurred, and will be endeavouring to contact as many affected families as possible to discuss what has happened and the steps we will be taking to rectify this," she says.

"We appreciate that this will be distressing for families, and we will ensure this will be managed with sensitivity and care."

Downer New Zealand chief executive, Steve Killeen, says he is troubled by what has happened.

"On behalf of Downer I would like to apologise to the families and to Auckland Council.

"We will provide fresh flowers in the children’s area at the Gardens to acknowledge the hurt this has caused and will also be making a $10,000 donation to Starship Children’s Hospital," he says.

"This was a one-off, careless act and by no means represents the responsibility our 5000 employees accept every day in providing essential front line services to our local communities. We do take full responsibility and will work with all our teams to ensure this does not happen again.”

Families can contact Manukau Memorial Gardens on 09 279 8232.

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