Since 2014, the Te Awamutu Courier has been closely following the story of the Tokanui Hospital Cemetery, where almost 500 psychiatric patients were buried in unmarked graves for 50 years between 1914 and 1964.
Now it has re-emerged with the National Māori Authority chair calling for a "whakapapa project".
The story started about a decade ago when Hamilton man Maurice Zinsli was researching his family history and found his great-aunt Maria had been treated poorly in her adopted country after immigrating from Switzerland, and as a further indignity was one of the patients buried in a "paddock" near the now-closed hospital.
Maurice initiated a project to respect and honour the patients at the cemetery and to give each person a named headstone or plaque.
Stock were removed from the site, it was fenced, and in 2016 there was a ceremony to unveil a memorial wall that had the names of those buried at the site.
As manager of the Tokanui Cemetery Restoration Project Maurice had the ground radar scanned and identified all the graves.
He says the cemetery is unusual in that all the bodies were buried with heads to the west, rather than in rows of head to head, which is more usual.
Pegs were placed at each head and these were GPS located by CKL and recorded. The pegs were then removed, but Maurice says each grave site can be easily identified with the GPS co-ordinates.
In 2018, Maurice was still calling for a named plaque to be placed at each burial site.
He says the project has since stalled somewhat — changes in ownership, the withdrawal of the Department of Conservation stewardship, the withdrawal of AgResearch from the Tokanui Research Farm, and waning interest from supporters all contributing.
Maurice says he has heard of the call for a "whakapapa project" and says he supports anything that helps achieve his ultimate goal of naming each grave site.
But he says he has had no contact from the National Māori Authority or Maniapoto and much of the work they are asking for has already been done.
"My original goals for this project are still the same," says Maurice.
To find out more about the project go to tokanuihospitalcemetery.weebly.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org