Queenstown Cemetery Restoration

A ceremony to officially reopen Queenstown Cemetery / Te Urupā o Tāhuna took place on 21 December 2023. This follows the recent part closure of the cemetery’s grounds to allow for restoration works following a severe weather event in September 2023. There will be short intermittent closures in summer/fall 2024 to allow for remaining log removal and grass remediation.

Whakatuwhera Ceremony

A moving ceremony to officially reopen Queenstown Cemetery / Te Urupā o Tāhuna was held on Thursday 21 December 2023 in partnership with Kāi Tahu Mana Whenua with the support of Skyline. Over 100 community members gathered on Brecon Street to share the milestone moment and hear from mana whenua, the Mayor, QLDC reps, and local waiata groups from Ngā Manu Hou and QLDC.

We’d like to acknowledge and thank impacted families and community members for their patience and support throughout the restoration project. We’d also like to give special thanks to Mike Hurring contracting team for their care and expertise during the excavation works and Dunedin Monumental Masons for their role in restoring headstones.

Whakawātea Ceremony

In partnership with Kāi Tahu mana whenua and with support from Skyline, we held a whakawātea ceremony on 3 November to mark the start of restoration work inside Queenstown Cemetery. Work to clean up the area is expected to take at least a couple of months. When the restoration is completed, we’ll host a reopening ceremony for the community.

Blessing of the Queenstown Cemetery

A blessing was held at the cemetery on 5 October 2023. The private ceremony was attended by people with family graves that were affected, local religious leaders, the Mayor, other elected members, and Council staff. It included blessings from local kaumātua and faith denominations. This was an important milestone toward restoration work beginning.

Process to restore the cemetery

QLDC has worked closely with Skyline who carried out the restoration work. This included stabilising the site above the cemetery prior to starting to remove debris.

We are currently in the detailed cleaning phase allowing us to safely accept help from volunteers.