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Mangere Farewells Controversial Icon

Mangere Farewells Controversial Icon

Manukau Water has let a contract to demolish the reservoir on Mt Mangere as it is redundant to water supply requirements in the area and has been out of service for a number of years. The proposal has the approval of the local iwi, MCC, the Department of Conservation, and the Historic Places Trust. No local objections from the public were received when the proposal was first advertised some months ago. Local residents in adjacent streets have been advised of the works through a letter drop.

The contractor is Warren Fowler Earthmovers Ltd, with Fraser Thomas Ltd, Consulting Engineers, supervising. The proposal is to demolish the reservoir into its own base, and bury it under scoria to make it safe. The old scour pipe which runs into the crater will also be removed. We will then re-establish the surface with topsoil and grass. This approach will enable us to go some way towards restoring the original profile of the crater rim, and will also minimise the disturbance to the mountain itself by reducing truck traffic on the summit track.

The start date for the contract is Thursday 13 March, commencing with a blessing ceremony at the summit before work commences. Those attending should assemble at 9.00 am at the gate at the bottom of the summit track end of Domani Road by the Sports Club.

A point of historic interest is that the reservoir was designed in the 1930s by Cyril Firth, then working as a design engineer with the Auckland City Council waterworks department under Arthur Mead. Cyril (now aged 99) is the father of the undersigned. He subsequently became Auckland City Waterworks Engineer, responsible for the development of Auckland's bulk water supply system, and the first Director of Works of the Auckland Regional Authority. His own drawing of the reservoir also shows the pumphouse (still extant in the quarry) and the Black Bridge boreholes from which the water was originally drawn for the water supply system. The reservoir was built under contract by Alf Stevenson, who utilised as labour the National Rowing Team, of which Alf was the National Coach at the time.

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