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Historic Cemeteries

Image for the Historic Cemeteries page.
This page contains information about cemeteries in the District which are no longer open for burials but have an historical significance.
Updated: 15/01/2020 10:08 a.m.

Within the Whangarei District, there are cemeteries which are no longer open for burials but have a historical significance.

Below are details of the historic cemeteries.

​Mission Ground Cemetery

Mission Ground Cemetery is located at the end of Selwyn Ave, adjacent to the entrance of Whangarei Craft Quarry.


Although inter-denominational, the site was named the Mission Ground Cemetery as it was originally established by the Melanesian Missionary Society before falling under the jurisdiction of the Whangarei Borough Council.

Sadly, the cemetery fell into neglect after burials stopped in 1940.

In the years that followed the headstones were removed and cemented to the concrete strip which can still be seen alongside the footpath. This solution was not popular and the site became known as Tombstone Alley.

Later, the headstones were completely removed and many were buried at the Kioreroa Cemetery. 

The cemetery today

In 2011, a memorial was unveiled by members of the Whangarei community.

Coinciding with the memorial, a book was also launched called 'In Memoriam, Mission Ground Cemetery 1840-2010'.

Compiled and edited by Joan Leversedge, and designed by Whangarei District Council, the book is a collection of stories about the lives of those known to be buried at the Mission Ground cemetery. 

You can contact her at joan.leversedge@xtra.co.nz to organise a copy of the book.

As part of our Historic Cemetery Programme, the site has recentley had a bollard fence, trees planted and signage installed.

Kioreroa Cemetery

Photo of the Kioreroa Cemetery.

Kioreroa Cemetery is situated on State Highway 1 (directly opposite the Gull Service Station) south of Whangarei.


It is one of the earliest cemeteries in the Whangarei District. Opened in 1882 and closed in 1946, the cemetery is the last resting place of over 800 of Whangarei's earliest residents. Initially the cemetery was well used but by the 1930's it had become overgrown and neglected.

In 1961, the Council of the time applied for an Act of Parliament to remove the headstones for easier maintenance, which was granted on condition that trees were cleared, lawns were sown and a memorial erected recording the names of those buried in the cemetery.

This was not carried out and the site remained neglected. In 2007, Council allocated funds for the improvement of the site and installation of a memorial.

The cemetery today

A memorial design competition generated significant interest and allowed for community input into the process. The initial stages of this project were completed in 2009 with the installation of the memorial.

The memorial was unveiled in October 2009 by members of the Whangarei community. Additional names and corrections were affixed to the memorail in 2014.

An ongoing programme of maintenance, restoration and information resources has been developed.  

Kioreroa Cemetery Plan  [2.3mb]

Ngunguru (Cape Horn) Cemetery

Ngunguru Cemetery is located in Tongatu Road, Ngunguru.

The cemetery was vested in the Whangarei Borough Council in 1955 then closed in 1981.  

As part of our Historic Cemetery Programme, a management plan is currently being developed for this site. 

Whangarei Heads Pioneer Cemetery

Whangarei Heads Cemetery is located in Big Munro Bay.

Many of the early pioneers to the area were buried here, from 1864-1956.

The cemetery was vested in Council in August 1968.

The cemeteries management plan includes an annual site inspection and work to kept the cemetery in its current state.

Whananaki Cemetery

Whananaki Cemetery is located off Pukekawa Road, Whananaki South on the Pitokuku Point.

The cemetery was closed and vested in Council in 1970.   

In recent years, the Whananaki Cemetery has undergone work to preserve the site in its current form.

This included removal of several large pine trees, clear marking of burial plots and the boundary.

Signage has also been errected on both the estuary and ocean sides of the cemetery to allow better location of the site for visitors.

A small amount of planting was also completed at this stage, with further planting and weed control to be undertaken in the future as part of our Historic Cemetery Programme for this site.

Whananaki Cemetery Plot Locations [135kb]

Contact us

Cemetery Manager
Whangarei District Council
Private Bag 9023
Whangarei 0148
Phone:  +64 9 430 4207
Email:    mailroom@wdc.govt.nz



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