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Veterans’ Affairs Spends More Than $62,500 on Cemetery Work

Whenua Tapu Cemetery in Porirua got a new entrance, paving, flag pole, seat, and sign

Veterans’ Affairs has spent more than $62,500 this year on maintenance work in three cemeteries in Wellington.

The work was carried out at Taita Lawn Cemetery, where 504 damaged headstone bases were repaired and replaced, Whenua Tapu Cemetery, where a new entrance, paving, flag pole, seat, and sign were provided, and Karori Cemetery, where a damaged grave was repaired.

The money is part of more than $650,000 Veterans’ Affairs has spent overall this year on memorials and maintenance work in cemeteries where New Zealand service people are interred, which has included installation of nearly 700 new headstones and plaques for veterans, their spouses or partners throughout New Zealand.

More than $480,000 has been paid from the Veterans’ Affairs memorial fund towards headstones and plaques for veterans with qualifying service. A further $170,000 from its capital works fund has gone towards constructing new berms, installing new seating, and re-fixing or replacing damaged headstones in cemeteries across New Zealand.

Some of the work has been significant, like replacing 44 terrazzo headstones in Wairarapa. Other projects have been smaller, such as repairing damaged berms in Waipawa.

Veterans’ Affairs is funded to support local authorities to maintain each of New Zealand’s 183 services cemeteries, where areas are set aside for the burial of veterans with qualifying service and their spouses or partners.

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Deputy Head of Veterans’ Affairs Marti Eller said services cemeteries offer a great way for communities to engage with their history.

“At Veterans’ Affairs we honour service and it’s a privilege to be able to make this particular contribution to communities throughout the country,” Ms Eller said.

“Caring for services cemeteries is a massive undertaking. The work we do would not be possible without the support of local councils, the RNZRSA, and community groups like the NZ Remembrance Army.

“These cemeteries are often gathering places on Anzac Day and Armistice Day, so fixing small things like berms can make the world of difference to the families and whānau who come to pay their respects to those resting there. It’s a way we can play a part in helping communities remember their veterans.”

Services’ Cemetery capital works projects funded by Veterans’ Affairs in 2020:

• Eketahuna Services Cemetery: repaired a damaged berm and constructed a new berm – $1,315
• Featherston Cemetery: replaced three damaged terrazzo headstones – $3,225
• Green Park Cemetery (Dunedin): constructed a new berm and headstone bases – $18,100
• Kaiapoi Cemetery: installed a new hardstand, seat, and sign ¬– $13,800
• Karori Cemetery (Wellington): repair a damaged grave – $2,955
• Masterton Cemetery: replaced 39 damaged terrazzo headstones ¬– $41,934
• Martinborough Cemetery: replaced 2 damaged terrazzo headstones – $2,150
• North Shore Memorial Park (Auckland): re-secured 94 loose plaques – $5,675
• Pouawa Urupā, Tologa Bay Urupā, Whangara Urupā (Gisborne District): erected headstones on 15 unmarked Services graves – $10,713
• Riverside Cemetery (Masterton): re-secured 100 loose headstone bases – $1,840
• Sydenham Cemetery (Christchurch): repaired a damaged grave and installed a new headstone – $1,192
• Taita Lawn Cemetery (Upper Hutt): repaired and replaced 504 damaged headstone bases – $44,114
• Waimate Cemetery: installed two signs – $4,900
• Waipawa Services Cemetery: replace three damaged berms – $3,726
• Whenua Tapu Cemetery (Porirua): a new entrance, paving, flag pole, seat, and sign – $15,525

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