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Historical Significance of Makaraka Cemetery

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

In 2018 Sheridan Gundry wrote an application to the Lotteries Environment and Heritage Fund requesting funding to reinstate the recovered headstones back onto their original gravesites. The application included an assessment of the historical significance of the cemetery - the document attached below. Sheridan was contracted by GDC to do this work. The application was successful, with the Council being granted $33,000 for this work.

Makaraka cemetery - significance of the cemetery, Sheridan Gundry Sept 2020
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The reinstatement of the monuments which had been buried is now complete.

There were about 331 headstones plus the Poverty Bay monument, Waerenga-a-hika monument, and William D S MacDonald’s monument, in the cemetery prior to this restoration project. The reinstatement of the 86 headstones which had been buried for safe-keeping has added 25% more headstones. All that could be recovered following the very unfortunate loss of two thirds of the structures (600 or so) as a result of the Cook County Council’s clearance in the 1970s, has now been recovered.

Now, the task that remains is for a monument to be erected with the names of those buried in the cemetery to honour all these people, and in particular to acknowledge the shameful loss of most of the headstones.

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