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Published 27/12/2019

Rāhui lifted from inner Wellington Harbour

The rāhui placed over part of Wellington Harbour following a wastewater overflow last weekend was lifted shortly after 10am this morning.

Taranaki Whānui placed the rāhui over harbour waters from Ngauranga to Point Halswell after a tunnel collapse blocked the flow of wastewater from an inner-city area to Wellington’s main treatment plant at Moa Point. Wellington Water teams worked day and night to put a temporary, above ground bypass pipe in place, completing the work on Christmas Eve.

Wellington Water acting chief executive Jeremy McKibbin said cooperation among the many contractors, consulting engineers, council and other agency staff had been fantastic, and was critical in getting the above ground pipe completed so quickly.

“It’s thanks to their hard work in the lead up to Christmas, and since then, that we’ve been able to get to this point so quickly. We’re very grateful for the support that they and the community have shown us.”

Taranaki Whānui representative Kura Moeahu said they were grateful to all those who respected the rāhui while it was in place. “We are saddened this event has happened, but are satisfied that Wellington Water has done the right thing in addressing it. We look forward to continuing to work with them to further restore and enhance the mana and the mauri of Te Whanganui a Tara.”

With the rāhui lifted, people are again be able to swim in Oriental Bay and paddle and canoe in the inner harbour. However the area south from the Whairapo Lagoon entrance through to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, including the dive platform, will remain off-limits while further sampling and investigations are carried out on a separate network issue.

Work will begin on a permanent, underground pipe in January 2020.

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