Ngāti Toa Places A Two-week Rāhui On Te Awarua O Porirua
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 dissappointed 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 24 July 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 2021 but is dependent on improvements in the health of the moana.