Join Us

The Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery was formed in 1977 out of concern for the well-being of the burial sites during and following motorway construction and the need to recognise the overall values of the cemetery. Although the Society has been responsible for raising the profile of the old burial ground and preserving many elements of its history, on-going work is needed to maintain this important conservation effort. The work is spear-headed by a small committee which is elected each year at the annual general meeting.

Aim & Objectives of Friends:

The Aim of the Society is to preserve, protect and enhance for the public benefit the three Wellington historic cemeteries now known collectively as the Bolton Street Cemetery. Its objectives include:

  • Supporting Wellington City Council (WCC) in restoring graves and developing the area as an historic cemetery-park.
  • Sponsoring grave repairs and encouraging families and groups to maintain graves.
  • Researching historical information and heritage restoration techniques.
  • Encouraging public interest in the Cemetery.

The Society’s Constitution (See Rules-FoBSC-2015) includes the full set of objectives which underpin this aim.

The Society is a registered charity (reference CC22686). This status enables your donations of $5 or more to be NZ-tax refundable.

  • To preserve, protect and develop the wooded and historic atmosphere of the three cemeteries.
  • To support Wellington City Council in maintaining the graves and developing the park.
  • To encourage families and groups to repair damaged graves, to sponsor grave repairs and to support the Society.
  • These aims have evolved since original formation (in 1977) in reaction to motorway construction that devastated large parts of cemetery areas.

To join, please download and complete the following form.
Membership page for website

Details of the Friends are summarised in our
FoBSC pamphlet 2017
for your referral to other people as appropriate.

Some Milestones for the Friends:

  • 1980s – finalisation of negotiations to secure land for the chapel and surrounds.
  • 1990 – completion of the replica chapel visitor centre.
  • 1999 – installation of a new memorial in the chapel comprising 3,700 names of those whose remains were disturbed during motorway construction in the 1960s.
  • 1999 – completion of a ten year research project to compile a new definitive set of 8,500 burial records for the three historic cemeteries.
  • 2001 – unveiling a plaque to commemorate fifty-six reinterments dated 1906 following research on these.
  • 2005 – opening of the Morva Williams extension to the Park
  • 2006 – Launch of the Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery website.
  • 2009 – opening of the self-guided Memorial Trail.
  • 2014 – change of name from Friends of Bolton Street Memorial Park back to original name, Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery.
  • 2019 – replica chapel visitor centre is renamed Bolton Street Cemetery Museum.
  • 2020 – planning of updated displays in the Museum under way.
  • 2022 – opening (in October) of new displays in the Museum.

Financial Status & Support

The Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery is a community-based voluntary organisation with charitable status. Its funding comes from subscriptions and from donations raised through guided tours of the Cemetery. Additional and very welcome donations are received regularly from members and from those with ancestors in the Cemetery. Such donations are tax-deductible. All funds are put towards the on-going work of protecting, conserving and maintaining the Cemetery.

Remember the Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery in your will. Bequests will assist the Friends to preserve the cemetery for future generations.

Contacts for The Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery

To contact the Friends, please visit the Contact Us page.

Why Join Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery?

  • Your subscription will go directly towards the work of the Friends and the preservation of this important part of Wellington ‘s heritage.
  • You will be informed of the on-going work through the Friends’ newsletters.
  • You can assist in the voluntary work, including research, conservation, working bees and guiding.
  • You will learn more about this unique and precious area in the heart of Wellington.

To join, download and complete the following form.
Membership page for website