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Published 12/02/2024

Opening ceremony marks key milestone for the Omāroro Reservoir project

The opening ceremony for the Omāroro Reservoir takes place today, with the site at Prince of Wales Park in Mount Cook being handed back to Wellington City Council and the public.   

Wellington City Council Mayor Tory Whanau is delighted the area has been reopened for the public and described the importance of the reservoir for the city.

“I’m pleased to be here to mark the official opening of such an important asset for our city, and to re-open the area to the public. The project team have done a great job recreating an attractive space for people to walk, next to the newly planted native shrubs and trees covering the reservoir, and play sports on the two upgraded sports fields just below.”

“The Omāroro Reservoir provides a significant increase in water storage for Wellington City. In the event supply pipes are disrupted, the reservoir will ensure 48 hours supply of drinking water, playing a key role in increasing the city’s resilience.”

The ceremony will be attended by Wellington Water staff, alongside key project stakeholders including Wellington City Council, elected officials, HEB Construction, Beca, and Holmes Consulting. Iwi partners Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o te Ika (Taranaki Whānui) will lead the karakia ceremony.

The 35 million litre storage facility – which stores enough water to last around two days – has doubled the water storage capacity for Wellington’s CBD. It’s one of the few buried reservoirs in New Zealand and is built to withstand a 1 in 5000 year earthquake. It serves 70,000 residents in central Wellington, Thorndon, Newtown, Mount Cook, Hataitai, Kilbirnie, Miramar, Strathmore and Seatoun, including Wellington Hospital.

This $70 million project was delivered on time and within the approved budget, with the reservoir put into service one year ahead of schedule, in December 2022.   

Editor notes

Wellington Water is owned and fully funded by Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council, Porirua City Council, and Upper Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and South Wairarapa District Council. All six councils are equal shareholders.

Our councils own the water infrastructure in the region, and they task us to manage the infrastructure and deliver water services to our communities.

Wellington Water is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board and our organisation receive overall leadership and direction from the Wellington Water Committee, which are also responsible for appointing members to the Board.

The Wellington Water Committee is made up of representatives from our council owners and mana whenua.

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