Wellington Scoop

Two-week rahui on Porirua Harbour after two sewage spills

News release from Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira
Ngāti Toa Rangatira has placed a two-week rāhui on Te Awarua o Porirua in an effort to ensure the health and wellbeing of the entire community.

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira CEO Helmut Modlik says that the iwi is disappointed that two sewerage spill incidents occured in the Porirua harbour as a result of long term failure to invest in water infrastructure in the Porirua region.

“Our local infrastructure is clearly aged, overburdened and unable to meet current demands, let alone the future growth in our rohe,” Helmut said.

“Urgent investment must be made now to ensure the community’s wellbeing. Ngāti Toa have urged our partners at the Porirua City Council and Wellington Water to act with haste and at scale .

“Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira supports the Government’s decision to establish the Three Waters Reform Programme and has high expectations that the reform will maximise investment and water infrastructure improvements for our community.”

Over the weekend of 17 – 18 July, stormwater pipes in the Porirua region were placed under pressure due to significant rainfall causing a rising main (sewerage) pipe near SH1 in Paremata to burst, spilling sewerage into Te Awarua o Porirua Harbour.

Wellington Water reinstated the decommissioned cross-harbour rising main to address the issue. However, the cross-harbour rising main also failed and began spilling sewerage directly into Te Awarua o Porirua at another location in Onepoto.

Ngāti Toa held a karakia near the Tītahi Bay Boating Club on Saturday to mark the commencement of the rāhui, and were joined by representatives from the community and Wellington Water and the Porirua City Council.

“Laying a rāhui means putting a total ban on a resource. This means that swimming, fishing, diving, taking shellfish, boating or any other ‘on-or-in-sea’ activity within the harbour is prohibited.

“Caring for our moana is not just a job to us, its our responsibility as kaitiaki for our future generations. We call on the entire community to commit to our rāhui to not only protect the health and wellbeing of our community, but also to give our moana some reprieve and an opportunity to heal itself.”

The rāhui covers the whole of Te Awarua o Porirua (Porirua Harbour), extending out to the reef and the coastline from Rewarewa to Boom Rock. It is scheduled to be lifted on Saturday 7 August but is dependent on improvements in the health of the moana.

Wellington.Scoop – July 25
After a cross-harbour sewage pipe burst on the Onepoto side of Porirua Harbour, a rahui has been placed on the harbour for two weeks. The burst pipe has resulted in sewage overflowing on the shore of the harbour.

Debbie Rene of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira has advised:

Ngāti Toa Rangatira are very disheartened and very disappointed that this has occurred.

While we understand that the decision was made as an emergency due to the recent downpour and flooding, this has brought to light the severity of the situation and we have had internal discussions around what our next steps are.

It has been decided to place a rahui over the harbour due to the pollution that the burst pipe has caused.

Under the rahui, the taking of shellfish, fishing and swimming is prohibited … This is also a way that we demonstrate our concern and for us to exercise our traditional way of protecting our community.

A karakia by kaumatua took place near the Titahi Bay Boating Club yesterday.

On the other side of the harbour, Wellington Water have been working through the weekend to repair a wastewater pipe which burst for a second time last Thursday between the Aotea turnoff and Paremata, on State Highway 1. This burst also sent sewage into Porirua Harbour. One northbound lane of SH1 has been closed as the work continues.

[When this report was first published, it referred to a rahui of two months. This has now been corrected to two weeks, based on information from Wellington Water.]

1 comment:

  1. Kara, 26. July 2021, 18:28

    To think we used to swim at Titahi Bay. Certainly wouldn’t now. Wellington Water (and whoever gave resource consent) should be ashamed of themselves.