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Rubbish defiles sanctity of urupa

Piles of rubbish, including a television set, a mattress, bedding, a plastic washing basket and a toy truck, were found dumped at an accessway leading to the Pouawa urupa last weekend.

The trash was discovered by a visitor who had come to offer respects to loved ones buried at the cemetery.

“One of my cousins came up to maintain the site and saw this mess,” said Liz Albert.

It was difficult to describe in words the offensiveness of the amount of garbage at such a sacred site, she said.

“I have got my grandparents there and my great-grandparents.

“I believe we should be responsible for keeping our own areas clean and tidy and would expect this of others. This is very disrespectful,” she said.

Ms Albert said she had spoken to district councillor Pat Seymour about the issue. They had discussed the idea of removing the lower branches of trees that block the view of the urupa from the main road. This possibly helped hide the person when they dumped their trash, she said.

“You would expect in Te Tairawhiti that the sanctity of the urupa still stands, but obviously it doesn't,” she said.

The council accepted Ms Albert's request to remove the trash.

Disgusted: 'This is beyond belief,' said Liz Albert, of piles of rubbish dumped at the Pouawa urupa last weekend. She is pictured, with her dog Summer, and the mess found by a member of her whanau, visiting the cemetery to care for the graves of family members. Picture by Liam Clayton
FINAL RESTING PLACE: The peaceful surrounds of Pouawa urupa with expansive views over the ocean were disturbed last week by a person dumping unwanted household items. Picture by Liam Clayton