Tawa Flat Cemetery

Some of Tawa’s pioneer settler families are buried in this historic cemetery.

Old black and white photo of St. Annes church, Porirua.
St. Annes church, Porirua. Ref: 1/2-129295-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Tawa Flat Cemetery 1861–1978

It developed after Edward Gibbon Wakefield gifted a quarter acre (0.61 hectares) fronting Porirua Road to the Anglican Bishop of Wellington in December 1861 for “religious, educational and charitable purposes”.

A small church called St Peter’s was built on the site five years later and the first burials took place in the churchyard in April and May 1867.

The church served the local community for more than 30 years before being moved by bullock cart to Porirua and renamed St Anne’s in 1902. The Porirua area had been growing since the 1880s due mainly to the development of what is now known as Porirua Hospital, and the church was needed there to serve the expanding population. It was replaced in 1942 when a new St Anne’s was built and was eventually demolished in 1955 as part of the motorway construction.

Once the church had gone, only a few further burials took place here, the last in 1952. The cemetery became the responsibility of Tawa Borough Council in 1977 and was officially closed in 1978.

Tawa Historical Society has a list of all the people known to have been buried in the Tawa Flat Cemetery.