5 July 2019
Tūwharetoa imposes rāhui on parts of Lake Taupō and upper Waikato Awa following wastewater spill
Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board (‘Trust Board’) has announced a rāhui on parts of Lake Taupō and the upper Waikato River following the collapse of a wastewater pipe that has resulted in an estimated 800,000 litres of wastewater spilling into the lake on Tuesday 2 July.
The rāhui will be imposed from 9am on Friday 5 July and will remain in place until it is deemed appropriate to lift it.
Trust Board Chief Executive Topia Rameka says the rāhui will ensure that Tapuaeharuru Bay, and the Waikato River to Aratiatia – the areas affected by the spill – have an opportunity to rest and recover, so that eventually, recreational activities in the area can resume.
“Our immediate concern is for the health and safety of our community, and the protection and restoration of the mauri of our taonga – Lake Taupō and the Waikato Awa,” says Mr Rameka.
“This is a significant event for our community. We must now work collectively and take every measure to ensure our natural resources and critical services are protected.”
“We will certainly be asking the appropriate questions in due course to the relevant authorities,” says Mr Rameka.
“We all need to understand why this happened, the response to it, and how this can be mitigated into the future.”
“In the meantime, we are working with our partners to ensure services to our community continue, and that all steps are being taken to rectify the current situation.”
The Trust Board urges the community to respect the rāhui and to not gather any food (trout, kōura, watercress) from the northern end of Tapuaeharuru Bay and the Waikato River to Aratiatia. The rāhui also restricts public access to the immediate location of the incident to ensure workers a safe and unimpeded area to operate while work is underway. No other restrictions are in place for lake users.
The areas where the rāhui applies is highlighted on the map below.