Media release: 27 March 2023
Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage has been alerted to an incident of vandalism at Massey Memorial in Wellington. The Massey Memorial is a national monument and commemorates William Ferguson Massey (1856 - 1925), Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1912-1925. The Memorial is also the burial ground for Massey and his wife Christina.
The Memorial has sustained significant damage, with the bronze bust being covered with paint and parts of the marble dome shattered into many cracks and loose fragments.
"This act of vandalism is completely unacceptable," said Glenis Philip-Barbara Pou Mataaho o Te Hua Deputy Chief Executive Delivery. "This site is not only a memorial but a gravesite, which makes this even harder to fathom." Public donations contributed a third of the cost of the memorial, a clear signal of community support for the establishment of this final resting place for William and Christina Massey at the time.
Manatū Taonga is taking this matter very seriously, as the agency responsible for caring for the Memorial under the Massey Burial Ground Act 1925. Police have been notified of the vandalism.
"We have informed Massey’s descendants about the damage to the Memorial and will keep them updated," said Philip-Barbara. "In the meantime, if members of the public know anything about this vandalism, please reach out to the Police."
We are appealing for information about the vandalism. If you or anyone you know have any information you believe could be helpful as evidence, please contact the Wellington Police - quote reference number 230323/8402. We believe the vandalism happened in the last week.
The damaged areas of the Memorial will remain closed to the public until repairs are made.
Updated on 8th May 2023