11 Jul 2012

Symonds Street cemetery upgrade

8:00 am on 11 July 2012

Symonds Street cemetery in Auckland is to have a $1.6 million makeover to make the area safer and more attractive.

Symonds Street opened in the 1840s, but is now very rundown and a popular place for some of the city's homeless.

Waitemata Local Board has voted to fund an upgrade of the area including restoring gravesites, repairing pathways and improving visibilty from the street.

Chair Shale Chambers says homeless people can stay in the cemetery, but the board has agreed on a liquor ban for the area, which is still to be approved by the Auckland Council.

But the Coalition to End Homelessness group says a liquor ban will effectively push homeless people out of the area.

Disprepair of the cemetery is not a new issue, with the problem being highlighted from as early as the 1870s.

Among those buried there is Governor William Hobson.