30 Aug 2019

Lake Taupō rāhui due to burst sewerage line lifted by Tūwharetoa

6:46 pm on 30 August 2019

The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board has lifted the rahui on parts of Lake Taupō and the upper Waikato River.

An aerial view of the washout into Lake Taupō.

An aerial view of the washout into Lake Taupō on 2 July. Photo: Supplied / Darryll Ranford, Helicopter Services BOP

The rāhui was imposed six weeks ago after a water main on Lake Terrace in Taupō burst, creating a washout which collapsed part of the footpath and took out the sewerage line, sending 800,000 litres of wastewater spilling into the lake.

The rāhui was put in place on 5 July to give Tapuaeharuru Bay and the Waikato Awa to Aratiatia a chance to recover, the Trust Board's chief executive Topia Rameka said.

"The incident itself has caused significant distress to our local community and to Ngāti Tūwharetoa, it's pretty clear why it is of major concern to have paruparu discharged directly into our moana and awa."

"That being said, we're very aware that our lake is very resilent and we knew in time that it would ensure that it took care of itself and that's what we celebrated yesterday with the lifting of the rahui on Lake Taupō and the Waikato River.

With sediment, water and mahinga kai sampling showing that the environment at Tapuaeharuru Bay has returned to normal, Mr Rameka said, "the lake is now free for our community, our whānau to access and hī ika (catch fish) and all those things that we value very highly."

An investigation into what caused the pipe to break is still underway.

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