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Boy racers annoy Urupa guardians

Damage caused by burnouts in a field next to an urupa in Masterton. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Guardians of a Masterton urupa [cemetery] have urged boy racers to keep away and asked witnesses to report dangerous driving to the police.

Kaitiaki [guardian] at Akura Urupa, on Kibblewhite Rd, have called for a halt to burnouts close to the cemetery.

‘Boy racer’ drivers have a history of damaging the land along the road on Masterton’s northwestern fringes. They gained entry to the plot which leads to the urupa, causing damage to the paddock and threatening the sacred area.

Families have visited their ancestors in the cemetery since the late 1800s. The oldest monument in the cemetery dates to 1918.

Guardians felt forced to lock the site after several incidents of damage to land. A gate was installed in an attempt to stop vehicles coming on to the plot of land next to the urupa.

Atu Carroll and Kena Te Whaata are custodians of the urupa and have whanau buried at the site.

Te Whaata lives nearby and said that noise problems from cars happened at least weekly, often most nights

“The neighbours must be getting bloody sick of the noise,” Carroll said. “I know we’re sick of the mess.”

The urupa’s custodians have also had to step up to tidy up rubbish.

The lock forced the problem away from the land next to the grave sites.

But the burnouts outside the gate continue. The kaitiaki want residents and potential witnesses to contact the police.

The Kibblewhite Rd site is the latest in the Masterton area to have problems with burnouts.

Last summer around 200 vehicles headed to Wainuioru, east of the town. Queen Elizabeth Park and Percy Reserve are other areas to be targeted.

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