Regional | Pollution

Iron Māori cancelled due to sewage spill in Waitematā harbour

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has imposed a rāhui across the Waitematā because of a 13-metre sinkhole in the Auckland suburb of Parnell that let untreated sewage run directly into the Waitematā Harbour.

The spillage was caused by the sinkhole, which was created when a large sewer main collapsed. Watercare is working to clear the blockage.

“We were able to clear about three tonnes of material,” Watercare chief operations officer Mark Bourne says.

“But with a 25-metre section of debris, it’s looking very unlikely that we’ll be able to clear the full blockage without major excavation.”

The sinkhole is 13 meters deep, located on St Georges Bay Rd in Parnell

Te Kurataiaho Kapea (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) says the rāhui comes after discussions with Iron Māori organisers to postpone the event because of poor weather conditions.

“Yesterday morning we had a meeting with the Iron Māori event organisers to discuss the weather and weather forecasts. It appeared that it might clear up, so we said we’d wait til this morning but then last night Watercare got in contact with us about what happened, so this rāhui is for both of those things.”

The Waitematā harbour spans Takaparawhau, over to Maungauika and towards the northwest to the upper Waitematā. This is the third sinkhole in the city in the past three months.