9 Jul 2013

More damage at Auckland cemetery

8:41 pm on 9 July 2013

A group responsible for maintaining an historic central Auckland cemetery says fencing it off to the public is one option to stop ongoing vandalism.

Eleven graves in the Symonds Street cemetery have recently been pushed over and damaged by vandals.

Auckland Council's parks spokesperson Lynda Lucas said on Tuesday the gravestones have been toppled and smashed in the Presbyterian and Anglican sections. Ms Lucas says it is thought that the damage was done some time in the past 10 days. Police have been informed.

Less than a year ago, about 20 Jewish gravestones were spray-painted with anti-semitic messages.

The Waitemata Local Board is the guardian of the cemetery. Chairman Shale Chambers said one option is to fence off parts of it from the public.

"It is one that's being actively explored - especially around the Jewish quarter that has suffered the most destruction over recent times - and well continue to monitor that."

Mr Chambers said the board has a budget of nearly $2 million over 10 years to restore the cemetery.