Distraught families have been informed the graves of recently buried loved ones in a Waikato cemetery have been torn up by "scumbags" doing burnouts.
Cars entered Hautapu Cemetery in Cambridge overnight and did burnouts on an undeveloped grassed area, a spokesperson from Waipā District Council said.
One car drove across two reasonably recent graves. The affected families were "very upset" when the council told them about it this morning.
Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest was scathing of the drivers' actions.
"I'm utterly appalled – beyond disgusted – by what's happened overnight. I feel for our community and I also feel for council staff who are really devastated," Mylchreest said.
"We will be working alongside police and doing all we can to find out who was responsible. And when we do, I hope they throw the book at them. As far as I'm concerned, they are scumbags."
The council spokesperson said there had been a huge response on social media.
"There is universal condemnation and utter contempt for those involved."
Council workers will begin cleaning up the mess – clearing the berms driven across and repairing damaged grass areas.
No headstones had been damaged, and the damage was reported to police this morning.
A police spokesperson said they don't have any further comment or information on who the perpetrators might be.
RSA district president James Hill said the RSA is "extremely disappointed by the disrespectful act" that also damaged parts of the Hautapu Services Cemetery.
"It is shameful that the resting places of our servicepeople and loved ones are treated in this way," Hill said.
"The RSA continues to support those who served and their families, and hope someone will step up and assist the NZ Police in locating the perpetrators. We understand the family of the one grave involved has been contacted and we are working with the Waipa District Council to have the damage quickly repaired."