Mother's distress over damage to babies' graves

The mother of a baby buried in the Manukau Memorial Gardens says damage done by maintenance contractors to 170 plots is "disgusting".

Flowers, wooden crosses and other decorations had been broken and strewn around the children's area of the gardens.

Mother Brookie Himiona emailed Auckland Council about the damage on Tuesday afternoon after her daily visit to her daughter's grave.

"I went back early [Wednesday morning] and it was still damaged."

The Clendon Park resident says while her baby's plot was untouched, flowers and decorations on the most of the other graves in the children's section were a mess.

"Mixed emotions. Angry, hurting for the babies and the babies' families. Just a big emotional rollercoaster."

Maintenance company Downer has apologised to the families and Auckland Council, and is donating $10,000 to Starship Children's Hospital following the incident.

"Downers contractors, they really need to do their job properly and hire people that have respect for not just the babies that are there, but all the deceased there and their families as well," says Ms Himiona.

Downers didn't report the damage.

"This was a one-off, careless act and by no means represents the responsibility our 5000 employees accept every day in providing essential front line services to our local communities," said chief executive Steve Killen.

"We do take full responsibility and will work with all our teams to ensure this does not happen again."

Auckland Council says an investigation is underway, and would like to hear from any other affected families.