About 170 plots at an Auckland children's cemetery have been damaged during routine maintenance.

Auckland Council is investigating "unacceptable work" carried out by its maintenance contractors in the children's area of Manukau Memorial Gardens this week, Auckland cemeteries manager Catherine Moore said.

"Some flowers and small adornments from two burial beams at the Western Lawn babies' section one, affecting approximately 170 plots, have been damaged during maintenance of the surrounding lawns," Moore said.

"We are encouraging parents of children buried in this area of the cemetery to contact us as soon as possible, so we can determine if any damage has been done to adornments on their plot."

She said council staff members would be on site at the children's area today to speak with visitors.

"Auckland Council is very disappointed that any damage has occurred, and will be endeavouring to contact as many affected families as possible to discuss what has happened, and the steps we will be taking to rectify this," Moore said.

"We appreciate that this will be distressing for families, and we will ensure this will be managed with sensitivity and care."


She said families are able to contact Manukau Memorial Gardens on 09 279 8232.

Manukau Memorial Gardens has had controversial incidents in the past, including a family which found a plot set aside for a deceased aunt had already been used.