Eastern Courier : June 29th 2011
3 EASTERN COURIER, JUNE 29, 2011 NEWS 3 220 Universal Dr, Henderson Ph: 836 0029 ALL HOURS 79 Line Road, Glen Innes Ph: 521 3100 Family owned and operated MORRISON FUNERAL DIRECTORS OFFICE, CHAPEL & RECEPTION LOUNGES 3607661AA Affordable, Flexible In-Home Childcare PORSE Howick Ph 273 9790 w ww.PORSE.co.nz Home is best for children! 3158582BM Losing the plot in Area D ' The families will have to either take them out or have them adjusted because other people can't get in to visit their loved ones. ' Noelene Mudgway Manager Grave concerns: Manukau Memorial Gardens manager Noelene Mudgway in the burial area clogged with fences and decorations that are blocking families from getting to their relatives' graves. Photos: FIONA GOODALL Meeting place, below: Families decorate relatives' graves with chairs, garden furniture and even concrete benches for regular visits. Border line: Sections of another steel fence lie ready to be put up around a recent grave. By KAREN MANGNALL GOOD fences make good neighbours, the saying goes, but an unusual fancy for fences in one south Auckland neigh- bourhood is causing grave concerns. A mini-township of decorated burial plots with fences, plants and even garden furniture is blocking access to graves at Manukau Memorial Gardens. Decorating the mainly Pacific and Asian plots is fine, manager Noelene Mudgway says, but it's gone a bit too far. A lot of the steel fences are too long and they're going over the boundaries, restricting access along the foot of the graves.'' The obstructions mean elderly and disabled visitors are literally losing the plot, she says. There's no room left for people to walk down and they say, I can't get in to see mum'.'' Cemetery staff can't get mowers or diggers in for maintenance -- or for second burials. One family had a sec- ond interment and the grave was in the middle and they couldn't get to it,'' she says. The graves in the cemetery's Area D date back to the late 1980s and early 1990s. We were the very first cemetery nationally to have decorated graves like this because Manu- kau has a high Pacific population,'' Ms Mudg- way says. The area's now a meet- ing and greeting place that's packed on special weekends or holidays. Pacific families bring seats, sit and talk and even have something to eat. The Asian families have rituals, with offerings of food and incense.'' Ms Mudgway's now calling on families to help tidy up the graves -- and the fences. The families will have to either take them out or have them adjusted because other people can't get in to visit their loved ones,'' she says. Around 250 families were invited to a meeting at the gardens last week to talk about the best approach to start clean- ing up graves in Area D. Ms Mudgway's hoping the families will agree to help with a clean-up day next month rather than the cemetery staff simply going in and ripping things down''. Manukau Memorial Gardens has learnt from the experience of Area D, Ms Mudgway says. Its new 17-hectare western burial area which is opening this year has areas with roofed pavilions'' with open sides for family gatherings and outdoor services to be held. Area D is a delightful footprint of a culture'', she says. But fences that are personalised with decor- ations on top will be a thing of the past.''
June 24th 2011
July 1st 2011