Dawn blessing marks start of construction
The ceremony included a traditional blessing by local iwi Taranaki Whānui which acknowledged the breaking of dawn to commence the new day and the next phase in this journey. The ceremony also marked the turning of soil, which enables the project to proceed.
During the blessing, Mayor Andy Foster was the first to turn the soil, a symbolic start to the construction that begins in August. “It’s great to be at this point where we actually turn the sod and start this project” said the Mayor. “This is a practical symbol of us as a city, a growing city, confident city, and being a more resilient city.”
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. Construction works begin in mid-August.
Mayor Foster acknowledged those involved, highlighting the impact this major infrastructure work has already had and will continue to have for the residents around the reservoir. “A special thank you to the people of this area, the residents of Mount Cook, you have put up with a lot already and unfortunately you will have to put up with a construction site for the next few years.”
Contractors have been working in Wallace Street and surrounding streets, to lay pipes that will connect the 35 million litre reservoir to the drinking water network, as well as renewing wastewater and stormwater pipes since June 2019.
The reservoir, which will be covered and landscaped on completion, is expected to be finished by late 2023.