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Grieving families call for action after Auckland cemetery's graves sink

Newshub logoNewshub 4 days ago Scott Palmer
a gravestone in front of a building: The community is furious after rubbish was dumped at an Auckland cemetery during lockdown. © Image - Getty; Video - Newshub The community is furious after rubbish was dumped at an Auckland cemetery during lockdown.

Grieving families are calling for action after discovering their loved ones' graves are sinking at an Auckland cemetery.

A widely-shared Facebook post urges people to "check asap" at the Manukau Memorial Gardens cemetery to see if their family and friends' graves have been affected.

"If anyone that has loved ones at Manukau Memorial Garden...  just letting you know most of the graves have sunk in," it reads.

"It's so sad cause it's the actual sizes of the caskets! Have complained to the Council all week to fill them up, so most of us have been doing it ourselves but still some families haven't come yet!

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"Honestly I wish I was part of the council I would have done my job properly to cover them up with care straight away not wait a week-plus later."

One image shows the dirt slumped in over a grave, with large hollows and cracks visible in the ground.

A spokesperson for Auckland Council has apologised for any distress this has caused, but adds the sinking is "natural".

"We would like to reassure anyone who has seen this sinking that nothing has gone wrong with the burial," manager of cemetery services Nikki Marchant-Ludlow told Newshub.

"While we appreciate it can be alarming, it is natural and expected to occur as graves settle, particularly newer ones.

"This natural sinking is accommodated for by mounding the soil, however this may not meet the exact level needed every time, especially if there is heavy rainfall."

Marchant-Ludlow said the graves are being topped up with more soil and will continue to be monitored.

"Anyone who sees sinking should notify the cemetery directly so we can ensure it is attended to as soon as possible," she added.

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