Damage to babies' graves 'one-off careless act'

2:25 pm on 11 May 2017

An Auckland worker responsible for damaging graves belonging to at least 30 babies will not be allowed to work at that site again.

The damage had been cleaned up when RNZ visited the cemetery.

Manukau Memorial Gardens: The area was tidied soon after the damage. Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

The Auckland Council said two rows of graves on the Western Lawn of the Manukau Memorial Gardens were damaged by a maintenance worker using a weed-whacker.

Flowers, adornments, toys and some wooden crosses were affected.

Auckland Cemeteries manager Catherine Moore said the maintenance company, Downer, described it as a one-off careless act.

"He was the last one leaving the cemetery, so he has weed-eated too close to the decorations and then when he has tried to blow the grass off the area, it has spread everything all over the grass."

She said Downer has made a commitment to the cemetery that it would not happen again.

The damage has since been tidied and decorations had been placed on the concrete berms next to the burial plots.

Broken decorations had been collected and stored.

Parents of children buried in the area were urged to contact the council so it could determine if any damage had occurred on their plot.