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Unclaimed ashes waiting at Whenua Tapu Cemetery

Ashes at Whenua Tapu

Some of the ashes that are been held at Whenua Tapu.

Whenua Tapu Cemetery and Crematorium in Porirua would like to find the family members of more than 20 sets of unclaimed ashes.

Most of the ashes were brought to the cemetery in the mid-2000s after a funeral home ceased operations, while some date from the late 1990s.

Whenua Tapu Cemetery Manager Jon King says unclaimed ashes is unfortunately something that many funeral homes and crematoriums throughout the world have to deal with.

“Sometimes there is no next of kin or the next of kin may have passed away, occasionally a family may be struggling to decide what to do with their loved ones remains, but in our case most of the ashes came to Whenua Tapu after one of the funeral homes stopped trading,” he said.

“We have about a dozen sets of ashes that came from Angus Funeral Home, and a few others that have gone unclaimed over the years.  It would be really good to reunite them with their relatives and loved ones.”

Mr King said it is often difficult to locate relatives because they may have moved and not left contact details.

“Any ashes that we are not able to return to family will be buried at Whenua Tapu and an online registry will be made,” he said.

People wanting to find out more should contact Porirua City Council on 04 237 5089 or

Any ashes that are not claimed by 1 March will be interred by cemetery staff.

29 Jan 2019