Headstones destroyed in sick attack at Hawke's Bay cemetery

A Hawke's Bay family is reeling after their relatives' headstones were destroyed in what's believed to be a deliberate attack.

Kaye Wesley stopped by her family urupā [burial ground] in Raupunga on her way to a tangi on Saturday to visit her late brother's grave.

She was shocked to find that many of the headstones in the small cemetery had been destroyed, along with vases of flowers placed there by family members.

In a Facebook Live video taken just moments after the devastating discovery, Ms Wesley showed the full extent of the damage as she walked around the urupā, filming the cracked plaques, shattered vases and headstones that had been knocked over.

"Someone's had a ball in here," she can be heard saying.

She began sobbing when she came across the headstone for her brother Lou, who died in a car crash six years ago, and found it had been cracked in two.

The video has been viewed more than 134,000 times on Facebook and shared more than 2600 times.

"To the crazy lowlife who done this [sic], and yes we know who you are, may all your dreams be filled with the voices of my tipuna [ancestors]," Ms Wesley wrote in the caption.

On the Givealittle page set up for the Waihape Whanau Urupā, a family member wrote that the culprit had "systemically broken and destroyed" the headstones in a deliberate attack.

Ms Wesley told NZME that she believes the person responsible for the vandalism is a relative with mental health issues.

It will cost the family at least $100,000 all up to replace all the damaged headstones, a goal they hope to reach with the help of donations.

"It is our goal to fix this as soon as possible so the family can heal the hurt created and fix what was broken," the Givealittle page reads.

If you would like to donate to the family, the Givealittle page can be found here.