Taita Cemetery opened in 1892 and was the first public cemetery in Lower Hutt.
Before 1892, burials took place privately in church burial grounds, urupa, or nearby cemeteries such as the Bolton Street cemetery in Wellington.
The idea of a public cemetery for all denominations was first raised in 1887. A cemetery trust board was established and they obtained grants from local boards and councils to buy the land and prepare the site for burials.
The first recorded interment took place in March 1892. Some burials were not recorded and there are gaps in the early burial registers.
The cemetery was administered by the Taita Cemetery Trust Board with support from Hutt County Council until 1948. When Taita became part of Lower Hutt City in 1946, the authorities decided it would be more effective for Lower Hutt City Council to manage the cemetery.
The original cemetery is known as the Old Monumental Cemetery. A new section of the cemetery, known as Taita Lawn Cemetery opened in 1952. Today the cemetery is mostly full and only selected burials can be accommodated.
The Old Monumental Section of Taita Cemetery is on Kowhai Road opposite Naenae Road, Naenae. The entrance to Taita Lawn Cemetery is on the northern end of Rimu Street, Naenae. View the map of cemeteries in Lower Hutt for more detail.
How do I find out?
Where is my family member buried?
The burial register is the official record for burials in the cemetery and lists the plot location for each burial. You can find this in the online cemetery database.
How do I find the gravesite?
The plot location code will give you the cemetery block, row and plot number. There is a cemetery plan on the Council website and signs within the cemetery. [link to Huttview plan]
Who is the next of kin?
You'll find this detail in the plot grants books or the plot lease forms. You can search an index book up to 1948. After 1948 the grants and plot lease forms are filed by the name of the deceased person. Details of the plot grant are not recorded in the online database and the original grant books are held at the Council Archives.
What is on a headstone inscription?
Some headstone inscriptions for the Monumental Cemetery have been added to the online cemetery database. More inscriptions can be found in the book Taita Lawn Cemetery Lower Hutt Monumental Inscriptions 1950-1988 compiled by the Society of Genealogists and available at the Petone Library Heritage Centre and Council Archives.
Are there photographs of the graves?
No, photographs are not part of the official record. You will need to visit the graves to see what they look like.
What records are available?
Council is legally required to maintain a burial register and other information required to manage the cemetery including:
We hold burial registers from 1892 to 2003. Digital copies can be seen through our Cemetery Registers.
The details recorded may vary over time and some fields may be incomplete.
A burial register entry may contain:
- The name, address, age, and occupation of the deceased
- The dates of birth, death and of the service
- The location of the grave
- The denomination and minister performing the service
Burial Register, 1892-1932 [ARCH72372]
We hold plot grants or plot lease forms from 1903 to the current day. The plot lease forms contain personal information so are not freely available online. A plot grant contains the:
- Grant number
- Amount of money paid
- Name of the person paying for the plot
- Location of the grave
- Date of payment.
The person paying for the plot is often the next of kin which may be useful when researching family history.
The grant payment confirms the legal right to use the plot. However, the date of payment may not be close to the date of burial as the plot may have been purchased in advance or payments may have been made after the service.
Cemetery Grants Book, 1919-1933 [ARCH71165]
The grant books from 1903 to 1948 are in date order. From 1948 to 1967 the grants are filed alphabetically. A new form called the Application to Lease an Interment Plot in Perpetuity was introduced in 1967. This contains similar information to the grants and usually includes the address of the lease holder. This person is the only one who can authorise burials in the plot.
For historical enquiries, contact the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For enquiries about current plots email email@example.com.
Interment booking forms
The Application to Book an Interment forms were first used in 1965. Interment forms contain personal information so are not available online. An interment form may contain the:
- Name, address, date of birth and death of the deceased
- Occupation and religion of the deceased
- Name and address of the next of kin
- Date of service and specific requirements
- Location of the grave and any previous burials
The forms have changed over time so some information may be missing.
If you'd like to see an interment form email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Application to Erect a Headstone forms were used in 2001. These forms are often dated much later than the service, and may contain details of other burials or memorials within the same plot. A headstone form may contain the:
- Name and date of death of the deceased
- Location of the grave
- Material, dimensions and text of the headstone
- Sketch or photograph of the headstone
- Name of the stone mason
- Name of the person arranging for the headstone
You can request a copy of a headstone form by emailing email@example.com.
Maps and plans
The Council Archives hold a number of mostly undated plans. The plans show different blocks within the cemetery with the original block names and plot numbers, along with the surname of the person buried there. Looking at the plans will show you other burials, perhaps family members, in the same area. However, the plans may show some discrepancies between what is on the ground and what is in the burial registers. Generally burial registers are the more accurate record.
The cemetery plans have not been digitised yet and may be viewed at the Council Archives, or scanned on request.
There is an aerial photograph and layout plan on the Council website.
Wainuiomata Garden of Remembrance
Hutt City Council also operates the Wainuiomata Garden of Remembrance which opened in 2004. The burial register and interment forms are held by Council. These records are not online. If you need any information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Akatarawa Cemetery - new burials
New burials are available at the Akatarawa Cemetery in Upper Hutt. Enquiries can be made through Upper Hutt City Council.
Other cemeteries in the Hutt Valley
Council does not hold burial registers or original records from other cemeteries in the Hutt Valley.
An alphabetical burial index for Taita Cemetery was compiled in 1965 and continues to 1981. These books include lists of burials for some local cemeteries which are now closed. Cemeteries included in this book are:
- St James Churchyard, Woburn Road
- Christ Church, Taita
- Roman Catholic Cemetery, Korokoro
- Knox Presbyterian Church, High Street
- Methodist Cemetery, Bridge Street
- Military Road Memorial.
These lists and other local burials identified are also included in the online Council cemetery database. This information has been found in newspapers, parish registers, and other sources.
There are also many online resources for cemetery research around the country. Your local library should be able to help you.
How do I search?
Start by searching online through our two databases for free. You might need to try both as information may have been recorded in different ways.
The original records used to produce the online database are held in the Council Archives. If the records you'd like to see have not been digitised, you can make an appointment to visit the Archives. Digitisation can be requested, but it will depend on the format and condition of the original item.
The Library Heritage Centre can help with further research on other cemeteries. The Cemetery Manager can help with current enquiries and finding gravesites.