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Pla-centre of New Zealand

Rebekah Joy
Rebekah Joy

Recently I had the privilege of attending a very unusual event. A New Zealand first, the mass burial of placentas took place in Nelson a few weekends ago. Over two hundred people climbed the 'Centre of New Zealand' to bury their child’s placenta. The oldest placenta was nearing seven years old. As it turns out many people keep the placenta with the intention of burying it only to leave it in the freezer for years. The youngest was just two weeks old.

I heard about the event by accident. I was in labour at Nelson hospital and my midwife was away. The back up carer came and during contractions I told her we would like to keep the placenta. My partner and I had always liked the idea of planting it beneath a walnut tree. Our current living situation excluded us from this possibility so we intended to do some guerilla gardening. I came up with the ingenious idea of climbing the geographical centre of New Zealand and planting it by moonlight. 

"Excellent" the carer said, "will you plant it at the Centre of New Zealand?"

My partner and I looked at each other, how did she know our brilliant plan? Turns out our plan was not so original, the event had already been planned by her in recognition of a local midwife who had passed away.

A Maori tradition, the ceremony saw people from all walks of life enjoying a truly New Zealand event. Nelson City Council donated native trees and the burial spot, while locals provided an estimated sixty placentas.

Intended to be an annual event every June, more information can be obtained from the organiser on


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