Bid to mark 'lost graves'

A memorial to about 800 people buried in graves lost when the area was levelled to create new burial plots in the Oamaru Cemetery could cost about $18,000, a former Oamaru man campaigning for their recognition told the Waitaki District Council yesterday.

Geoff Pye, now of Cromwell, had two relatives buried in what has become known as the ''Oamaru lost graves'' and has been campaigning for about a year to have some form of recognition for those interred there.

He attended the council's 2015-25 long-term plan submissions hearing on Monday to put the case for funding for a memorial and information board to be included in next financial year's budget.

Mr Pye is proposing a memorial wall displaying name plaques and an information board describing what had happened to the graves.

It would be placed near the Perth-Greta Sts intersection, close to where the original graves were.

Research in the 1990s confirmed the general ground of the Oamaru Old Cemetery, marking the graves of as many as 800 people, was levelled and grassed in the 1950s, and another 360 plots created in their place.

Harbour-Historic area

Tourism Waitaki considers Oamaru Harbour to be central to the financial viability of Waitaki's tourism sector.

General manager Jason Gaskill said a holistic approach was needed to develop the harbour and historic areas with a unified vision.

It wanted long-term parking for buses and camper vans addressed, traffic flows in Waterfront Rd resolved, greater environmental protection for penguins and retail and tourism activities encouraged.

Oamaru Steam and Rail general manager Harry Andrew said a one-way road behind the historic buildings in Harbour St from the Humber-Itchen Sts intersection to the Penguin Club with parallel parking should be put in to resolve congestion problems.

He wanted to ensure its railway track, which runs around Oamaru Harbour and crosses Humber St to the society's railway station, was not affected by any changes.

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