Cemetery state ‘disgusting’

Unimpressed . . . Kaka Point woman Zoe Bethune is less than impressed at the state of the Port Molyneux Cemetery car park, where hay bales are being stored near where loved ones are buried. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

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Locals are unhappy with the state of a cemetery at Kaka Point.

The Port Molyneux Cemetery is a resting place for the loved ones of many locals, and frequent visitor Zoe Bethune said she was disgusted at the state of the area, including the car park.

‘‘I come along to visit my loved ones quite a lot, and recently there have been bales being stored up here right in the car park, which looks really rough,’’ Miss Bethune said.

‘‘The bales stacked up have made a mess of the car park, as clearly a tractor has gone through multiple times and muddied up the area. It’s disgusting.’’

Pieces of hay and mud›filled tractor tyre tracks covered the car park, rather than the usual gravel parking area.

The situation has caused a stir›up on social media recently, especially after a cow mob escaped into the cemetery and damaged ornaments and left cowpats and hoofprints on graves. Residents and relatives of those buried at the cemetery have made several calls to the Clutha District Council, to express their unhappiness.

‘‘I had gone to a meeting for a completely different topic but the cemetery issue was brought up and many shared my unhappiness with how the cemetery looks,’’ Miss Bethune said.

‘‘It’s not the best situation at all, because it’s a cemetery and it feels disrespectful as some people may not even want to park their vehicles in mud when visiting their loved ones who have passed on.’’

‘‘I hope the person who is in charge of the farming here can see why it’s not acceptable and disrespectful to many of us who have our relatives resting here.’’

Clutha District Council service delivery group manager Jules Witt said they were aware of the situation and had made contact with the farm manager.

‘‘We’ve had plenty of phone calls about the situation and we’re aware the state of the car park was not left tidy.

‘‘We’ve contacted the farm manager and told them to remove the bales from the car park in a timely manner as it is a public road,’’ Mr Witt said.

‘‘Our roading bylaw states that you are not supposed to store baleage on the side of roads at all, and although the bales are technically on a fence line, they are still in the parking area not permitted for baleage storage.

‘‘We are working with the adjacent farm manager for them to get the car park and the cemetery tidied and fixed up.’’

A suspected water leak in the area could also be a factor causing extra mud and softness of the earth in the car park, he said.

Contractors were looking further into the cause.