A South Auckland woman says she was met with a heart-breaking mess at the Papakura Cemetery yesterday in the section where babies are buried.
Korenna Buchanan told 1 NEWS she was at the cemetery with her son about midday, trying to locate the grave of a relative, when she saw the destruction.
“Some crosses had been pulled out or knocked over, and some were broken,” Ms Buchanan said.
“It was so sad and heart-breaking. I actually had to say to my son we need to leave.”
Ms Buchanan said because some of the flowers and trinkets were shredded, and there were fresh grass clippings, she thinks the mess may have been caused by ground maintenance staff.
But Auckland Council head of operational management and maintenance Agnes McCormack told 1 NEWS that it's believed the mess was caused by vandals.
"Our team was made aware of the issue yesterday and based on the evidence and past experience we believe this is an act of vandalism. We will undertake an investigation which will also include checking the GPS of our cemetery maintenance contractors to see when they were in the area," she said.
Ms McCormack said she was "very concerned" by the incident, and urged anyone with information or evidence to come forward. She also encouraged people to report any disturbances at Auckland cemeteries or other community facilities by calling 09 301 01 01.
“Imagine if you hadn’t been to visit your baby’s grave in a while and you saw that. It’s going to be so distressing," Ms Buchanan said.