A dawn blessing for Wellington City’s planned new Omāroro water reservoir in the Town Belt marks the first phase of construction for the project that will more than double the city’s water storage.
Hosted by Wellington City Council and Wellington Water, the ceremony included a traditional blessing by local iwi Taranaki Whānui and formal gifting of the name Omāroro to the project.
Omāroro is one of largest water resilience infrastructure projects in the region, a 35 million litre buried concrete reservoir to be built in Prince of Wales Park in the Town Belt with a supporting new pipeline corridor along Wallace Street.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the Taranaki Whānui blessing symbolises the project’s significance in supporting the city’s future.
“As well as our iwi partners, I’d also like to thank the local community who have worked closely with our team to help us get to this point.
“This is a cornerstone project for the future of Wellington that will ensure we have enough safe water to meet our day-to-day needs even as we grow. But it is only part of the picture. We all have a role to play in reducing our water use - and so limiting the need for more of these costly and disruptive works,” the mayor said.
Contractors will start work in Wallace Street to lay pipes connecting Omāroro reservoir to the network, as well as renewing wastewater and stormwater pipes. Mayor Lester acknowledged this would affect traffic flows and likely lead to some frustration.
“Working in this narrow arterial route will disrupt traffic, parking and pedestrian access as well as impacting some residents.
“We will continue to work closely with the community throughout the project, to make sure we’re doing as much as we can to reduce this.
“However, we ask for patience and an understanding that Omāroro is important, helping provide our city with a more secure water supply, making more water available in an emergency and reducing disruptions to water supply during regular water network maintenance.”
The reservoir, which will be covered and landscaped on completion, is expected to be finished by late 2022.
Tuesday, 9 April at 7.30am, Prince of Wales Park, Wellington Town Belt
Attending: Taranaki Whānui, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester, representatives of Wellington City Council and Wellington Water, Contractor Brian Perry Civil, members of the Mount Cook community,