Auckland pipeline upgrade kicks off


Watercare has been working hard over the last year to upgrade the pipelines in the suburbs of Tāmaki, Auckland’s much-loved inner east.

The final stage of the Tāmaki Drive watermain upgrade began in early March. The upgrade will extend from Tamaki Yacht Club through Takaparawhau/Bastion Point Reserve, up past Michael Joseph Savage Memorial.

The new watermain will be more robust and easier to access than the current ageing pipeline buried in the park reserve.

Project manager Sean McHenry said that before commencing the second stage of the upgrade, both team and construction partners were offered the opportunity to undergo cultural induction training.

“The training was conducted by hapū from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga at Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei training centre,” he said.

“During the hour-and-a-half training session, we learnt more about the historical and cultural significance of the reserve. We were also guided on what to do if we came across a taonga of historical importance.”

According to him, since the site is an active archaeological zone, there is a possibility that the utility might come across some significant artefacts such as shell middens, obsidian glass-like shards, bones, and other materials that could provide insights into the nation’s history.

“If we do discover anything important during our work, archaeologist Dr Hans-Dieter Bader, along with members of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, who will be present on site, will report the findings to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga,” McHenry said.

He added that the chances of Watercare coming across any artefact or taonga while installing their pipeline are low, as they will be using the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) method for installation.

“This method involves installing a 50mm polyethylene pipeline at a depth of approximately one metre and the horizontal alignment will be close to pre-existing public infrastructure in Hapimana St,” McHenry said.

“Any taonga near the pathway would have likely been discovered and safely excavated.”

McHenry said that while the work will cause minimal traffic disruptions on Hapimana St, there’ll be no traffic disruption on Tāmaki Drive.

“The construction may generate some noise, but it will be kept to a minimum and within the limits approved by the Auckland Council,” he said.

“Towards the end of the project, there will be a water shutdown, but affected parties will be notified five days beforehand, and it will be planned at a time that will minimise disruption.”

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