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Napier Earthquake Memorial

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The Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 3 February 1931 was one of New Zealand’s worst disasters. 256 people died in the quake or its aftermath. A common grave for the Napier victims was dug at the Park Island cemetery. On 5 February 1931 a total of 101 dead were buried there, including 14 unidentified remains.

In June 1932 work began on a suitable memorial to the victims. Designed by the Napier architect J.A. Louis Hay, this consists of a plain, tapering obelisk bearing the date 3 February 1931, behind which is a rectangular garden area bordered by a long, low wall. The wall supports a marble tablet inscribed with the names of 86 people interred in the common grave and 23 others buried elsewhere in the cemetery. It also bears the words: ‘Their sun is gone down while it is yet day’.

Credit

Bruce Ringer, Auckland Libraries, 2015

How to cite this page

Napier Earthquake Memorial, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/memorial/napier-earthquake-memorial, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated