Hurt and dismay as South Auckland cemetery vandalised for second time

For the second time in a year, graves at a South Auckland Māori cemetery have been vandalised.

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Kanga Skipper, kaitiaki at Māngre Piriti Urupā, says those with loved ones buried are hurting at the vandalism. Source: Te Karere

Committee members at Māngre Piriti Urupā were dismayed to discover the destruction over the weekend, which included flowers being uprooted, crosses being snapped and photos removed, according to a person who filmed at the scene. 

"These so-and-sos have come and completely damaged the taonga on the headstones," kaitiaki Kanga Skipper told TVNZ1's Te Karere.

"It's really hurt us, especially while cleaning up the cemetery, the culprit coming here to desecrate our cemetery and do this terrible thing."

There are graves associated with three gangs at the urupā, and in total, over 500 gravestones at the site.

Families have been visiting to see if the graves of their their loved ones have been affected. 

"I'm really upset, I'm thinking who would do such a thing, it's a horrid thing to try and think about," Reverend Mark Barnard said. 

Skipper wondered whether it was time to put up fencing and walls around the urupā to prevent further attacks. 

Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.