Cemetery locations

There are both public and private cemeteries in the Waimakariri District.

Cemetery records for cemeteries administered by the Waimakariri District Council are held at the Council service centres, or can be searched online. Burial plot maps have very kindly been made available to us by the Waimakariri Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and should be regarded as a guide only. St Barnabas Anglican Church have also kindly made their burial plot map and alphabetical listing available to us.

In our libraries you can access the Waimakariri District Burial Records CD compiled by the Waimakariri branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists in 2006, covering 17,260 entries from public and private cemeteries, including headstone transcriptions.

Council controlled cemeteries in the Waimakariri District

Birch Hill Cemetery

130 Garry River Road, Glentui (entrance down a track).

This small cemetery was originally semi-private for members of the family, relatives and farm hands of Birch Hill Station.

A central cairn commemorates Captain William Newton Millton who occupied the Okuku country in 1857. On the back wall are two plaques in memory of the men of Birch Hill Station who died in World War One, and in memory of the horses that came from the station.

From the track on the road to the cemetery, the Ford Millton Home (now a private residence) can be seen.

Cust-West Eyreton Cemetery

398 Earlys Road, Cust.

This cemetery opened in 1880. The oak avenue was planted at the same time. The west section is Anglican and the east sections are Methodist and Presbyterian.

Oxford Public Cemetery

Oxford Road, Oxford.

The first recorded entry in the cemetery book is for 9th October 1874, however in August 1867, a meeting of residents was held to protest about the area being in a disgraceful condition. Those present subscribed twenty pounds for a fence to be erected, and offered to undertake the necessary work. The Provincial Government offered to pay half the cost.

Kaiapoi Anglican Cemetery

Parnham Lane, Vickery Street, and Isaac Wilson Road, Kaiapoi.

The first Kaiapoi Cemetery was opposite the Kaiapoi Mill site, but was found to be not suitable as a burial ground since water was met five feet below the surface, and the loose sand shifted with each nor’wester. The next site on land, obtained from Dryden Sneyd, was near the electricity substation in Island Road, but that site was severely affected by floods from the north branch of the Waimakariri (now the Kaiapoi River). It was decided to move the cemetery to its present site about 1865. The land already belonged to the Church Property Trustees. The new site was laid out in the same way as the old, so that persons interred in the old could be moved to the same position in the new cemetery. Friends and family of the deceased had to pay the cost of removal.

Although an Anglican Cemetery, non-conformists were not prohibited from being buried there. The cemetery received many interments because it was the burial place for all bodies on which inquests were held in the district between the Waimakariri and the Hurunui, and unfortunately there were many persons drowned before bridges were erected over the rivers. The Coroner of the early times did not always proceed to the locality to hold the inquest, but had the bodies brought in, and the certificates for burials were usually made for the Kaiapoi Church of England Cemetery.

About 1990 the Church Property Trustees began moves to transform the older south portion of the cemetery to a passive recreational reserve and hand it over to the Waimakariri District Council. The area had become very rough and overgrown and so the remaining headstones were grouped together, the area cleared and grass sown. The whole cemetery site is now administered by the Council. The records are not complete.

Kaiapoi Public Cemetery

Corner of Adderley Terrace and Island Road, Kaiapoi.

  • Full burial plots
  • Double-depth burials permitted in plots that were purchased for double-depth burials prior to 1 April 1997 or a second interment in an existing double-depth plot
  • Ashes plots
  • Separate services burial and ashes area
  • Records are held at the Kaiapoi service centre
  • Location map
  • Burial plot map (pdf, 70.2 KB)

Kaiapoi Public Cemetery opened in 1884. Lots were drawn to allot the sections for each denomination.

Rangiora Park Lawn Cemetery

Corner of East Belt and Coldstream Road, Rangiora.

  • Full burial plots
  • Original area divided into religious denominations
  • New area (not divided into religious denominations)
  • Ashes gardens
  • Records are held at the Rangiora Service Centre
  • Location map
  • Burial plot map (pdf, 219.2 KB)

The land for this cemetery was given to the town in 1880 by early settler Samuel Andrews to be used for recreational purposes and was named Maria Andrews Park in memory of his wife. The Rangiora Borough Council had been looking for a suitable site for a public cemetery since the 1860s. Their efforts were frustrated by the opposition of the adjoining local authorities, and the narrow denominationalism. The Borough Council owned a useless piece of riverbank parkland, which was seen as a possible solution. In 1940 the status of the park was changed by Order in Council from a recreation ground to a reserve, prepared as a lawn cemetery, and as the Maria Andrews Cemetery, was declared open in June 1942.

Church cemeteries in the Waimakariri District

Clarkville St Augustine's Anglican Cemetery

Corner of Tram and Island Roads, Clarkville. Administered by St Bartholomew’s Parish, Kaiapoi. Contact: Kaiapoi Parish office, phone 03 327 7084. The records are held at Anglican Archives in Christchurch.

St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Clarkville, opened about 1860, when a school/chapel was built. The area at that time was known as Kaiapoi Island, a strip of land situated between the North and South branches of the Waimakariri River.

Ashes may be added to existing graves.

Cust Anglican Cemetery

Tippings Road, Cust. Contact for plots and records: Bernard Kingsbury, phone 03 312 5839.

The land was given to the St James Anglican Parish in 1870 by Mr J T Murphy of 'Tara'. Tragically, he was the first person to be buried there in 1872. Burial sites are still available.

Records also held at the Cust Museum, Main Road, Cust. There are also some records for the graves in the St James-on-the-Cust churchyard.

East Belt Cemetery, Rangiora

East Belt, Rangiora. Contact: Rangiora Presbyterian Parish, phone 03 313 7355 and Rangiora Museum, phone 03 313 7592.

When the Rangiora Anglican Cemetery was denied as a resting place for non-conformists, the other denominations acquired land in East Belt. John Macfarlane donated a section for the Presbyterians, George Booth for the Free Methodists, and the Baptists collected and bought the adjacent section for their use.

It is now closed for burials. Many of the surrounds have been removed and the tombstones realigned to aid maintenance.

The majority of the burials are the Presbyterians. The early Presbyterian settlers from Kaiapoi, Rangiora and the surrounding districts are interred here. When the Free Methodists joined with the Wesleyans, interments were usually at the Ashley Street Methodist Cemetery. The Baptist section also has many of Rangiora’s early settlers.

Eyreton St Thomas' Anglican Cemetery

600 South Eyre Road, Eyreton. Contact: Avril Leslie, phone 03 312 6760 or John Madeley, phone 03 312 6857.

In 1871 a meeting of Eyreton parishioners called in resolved to make an effort to build a church, and subscription lists were opened. Land for both a church and a cemetery was donated by Marmaduke Dixon. The church was opened in 1874. The first burial in 1880 was of Thomas James Dixon, aged 11, son of Marmaduke and Eliza Dixon. Many of the names of the early burials were of young people until the end of the century when the seventy and eighty year old ages became common in the register. Many pioneers of the district are interred here.

Burial plots available.

Flaxton St Paul's & Ohoka St Alban's Anglican Cemetery

Corner of Flaxton Road and Hicklands Road. Contact: Kaiapoi Parish Office, phone 03 327 7084 or Anglican Archives.

To serve settlers in the Mandeville and Rangiora Swamp areas, the Torlesse family donated land for a church and cemetery at the junction of the Rangiora and Eyre Roads.

This church served the nearby settlers as well as the Eyreton people until 1875, but with poor roads and frequent floods, communication was often difficult and the outcome was a decision to build at Eyreton where there was comparatively dry land and an increasing population. [Hodgson]

A number of the pioneers of this area are buried here – Mulcock, Bradley, Threlkeld, Plaskett and Pearson.

Methodist Cemetery, Rangiora

Ashley Street, Rangiora (by the A and P Showgrounds). Contact: Rangiora Methodist Parish, phone 03 313 3448.

This was originally the Wesleyan Methodist burial ground, bought after the dispute with the Anglicans. The Free Methodist interments began in the East Belt Cemetery some years later. The union of the Free Methodists and Wesleyans took place in 1896, and since then this has been Rangiora Methodists’ resting place. Some pioneer family names are to be found among the headstones.

Plots are available.

Ohoka Cemetery

Near the corner of Tram and Bradleys Roads, Mandeville.

This very small cemetery with only a few burials has been closed for many years. The records are held by Anglican Archives.

Raithby Cemetery

132 Chapel Road, Loburn.

Raithby Methodist Church was built in 1866, with an area set aside for a cemetery. The church was shifted in 1966 to Journey’s End campsite. It was named by David Pattrick after Raithby Hall, Lincolnshire.

The Methodist Church sold the burial ground to a company `Trees love people’ to operate as a private cemetery but this was not possible as private cemeteries cannot be established in New Zealand. The ground has since reverted to government ownership, with its future under discussion. This cemetery is  closed for burials.

Rangiora St John's Anglican Cemetery

Ashley Street, Rangiora. Contact: Rangiora Anglican Parish, phone 03 313 6148.

Around 1860, early settlers in Rangiora made an application to the Canterbury Provincial Council for a suitable area of land for a cemetery. A site was decided on in Ashley Street. The first burial was that of a Baptist, Mr David Doggett, who had been buried on private property. His remains were re-interred in the supposed public cemetery.

However, it was found soon afterwards that the land had been registered by mistake as belonging to the Anglican Parish of Rangiora, and the newly arrived incumbent, the Venerable Archdeacon Benjamin W. Dudley, felt justified in declining permission for any further non-conformist burials therein. Although the Rev. Dudley later offered to set aside a portion for their use, the non-conformists decided to go their own way.

Many of the pioneers of Rangiora and surrounding districts are buried in this cemetery. Mary Ursula Bethell, 1874-1945, the poet, is interred in her family’s plot.

Rangiora Catholic Parish Cemetery

Corner of Percival and George Streets, Rangiora.

This cemetery, which was situated behind the church buildings, was on land donated by Sir Westby Brock Perceval, and was consecrated on 28 July 1871. The earliest known burial was in 1872. A large cross was erected which stood fifteen feet high and was carved from a solid black pine trunk twenty feet in length.

The cemetery was closed about 1968, the old tombstones removed, and the area levelled to be used as a playing field by the pupils of St Joseph’s School. A monument is inscribed with the names of those known to be buried there.

St Barnabas Anglican Cemetery, Woodend

143 Main North Road, Woodend. Contact: Warren Stanbury,  03 312 7507

The first church on this site was built in 1862 on land donated by the Rev. John Raven who took up a large farm in this area, named Ravenswood. The present church was opened in 1932. The lynch gate, given in memory of the Gresson family, was constructed in 1903.

It is thought that of the two Woodend cemeteries, the Anglican one was consecrated first, as it is known that there are some of the Methodist faith interred there from 1864.

Burial plots are available.

St Brigid’s Catholic Church Cemetery, Loburn

Loburn-Whiterock Road, Loburn. Contact: Rangiora Catholic Parish, phone 03 313 6285.

St Brigid’s is one of very few Catholic churches in the Christchurch diocese with its own cemetery – possible a factor in ensuring the survival of the church itself. An application was made about 1873 to the Canterbury Provincial Government for a church site on Crown land at Loburn. About the same time a Mr Francis Hardy (also a trustee with Daniel Higgins and John O’Halloran), bought 20 acres including the five acres of Crown land. This land was handed over to the trustees and a church was built in 1875.

The cemetery has continued to be used on a regular basis. In 2001, a lack of space, uncertainty over where vacant plots were situated, and the need to keep an open area near the church caused a new area to be opened on the opposite side of the entrance drive.

There are a number of plots without headstones, which may indicate unused plots, or used but unmarked. The Rangiora Parish burial register shows a number of names not found on headstones, but also there are other headstones with names but not found in the register.

Swannanoa Methodist Cemetery

Tram Road, Swannanoa. Contact: Walter Norris, Swannanoa Methodist Trustees, phone 03 312 6726.

The Swannanoa Methodist Church was opened in 1874. John Evans Brown, an American, who named his property ‘Swannanoa’, and Mrs Peacock Snr, were the chief benefactors of the church.

The cemetery is behind the church. Pioneers of the district and their descendants are buried here. Burial plots are available.

The Terrace Cemetery, Sefton

234 Harleston Road, Sefton. Contact: Jim or Avis Wilson, phone 03 313 3220.

This cemetery was closed for burials around 1920-30. Records are held at the Kowai Archives, Balcairn.

Woodend Methodist Cemetery, Woodend

The first building constructed in 1859 served as a Church, Sunday school and Headmaster’s residence. A wooden church was built in 1864 and the present building was opened in 1911.

Woodend might almost be described as a Wesleyan settlement. The founders of the church arrived in Woodend in 1857-58. Closed for burials.

Maori cemeteries in the Waimakariri District

There are three Maori reserves set aside as cemeteries within the Waimakariri District. These cemeteries are administered by Te Ngai Tuahuriri Runanga.

The main cemetery, Te Uru Ti, is in Tuahiwi, Road, Tuahiwi. Te Kai a te Atua Urupa is situated at 137 Old North Road, Kaiapoi. There is also another very small cemetery in Tuahiwi known as Hawaiki.