Story: Death and dying

Symonds Street Cemetery, Auckland

Symonds Street Cemetery, Auckland

The Symonds Street Cemetery was the first official burial ground in Auckland. Established on public land in 1842, it closed for burials in 1886 (with the exception of those who already had family members buried in the cemetery). There were separate sections for Anglicans, Catholics, Presbyterians, Jews and Methodists. Many Auckland early settlers are buried here, including Governor William Hobson, who died in 1842 just two years after signing the Treaty of Waitangi on behalf of the British Crown.

The cemetery, which has lots of mature trees, became a park in 1909 under the control of the Auckland City Council. When the new motorway system was constructed in the mid-1960s, over 4,100 bodies were moved and reinterred in two memorial sites within the cemetery, which became split into two sections separated by Grafton Bridge. This view of the cemetery shows a family plot with six headstones surrounded by an iron fence.

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How to cite this page:

Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Death and dying - Burials and cemeteries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 July 2024)

Story by Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 16 May 2018, updated 1 Nov 2023