15 Mar 2013

Hundreds of items recovered from wrecked graves

8:46 am on 15 March 2013

Auckland Council says more than 500 items have been recovered from a mulch pit in Waikumete cemetery after contractors destroyed decorations atop childrens' graves there.

At least a quarter of the plots in the section reserved for stillborn and newborn babies were ploughed by contractors last month, upsetting families who were unaware the work was being done.

Auckland Council has apologised and halted the work indefinitely.

Archaeologists and others have been recovering the broken decorations since Saturday.

Council manager of parks and recreation Mace Ward says at least ten families have had items returned so far.

He says work on cataloguing the recovered items will continue over the weekend.