Rāhui remains on parts of Lake Taupō

By Jessica Tyson

A rāhui announced by Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board on parts of Lake Taupō will remain in place until it is deemed appropriate to lift it.

The rāhui was put into place on Friday after a wastewater pipe collapsed causing around 800,000 litres of wastewater to spill into the lake on Tuesday, July 5.

Trust board chief executive Topia Rameka says the rāhui will ensure that Tapuaeharuru Bay and the Waikato River to Aratiatia have an opportunity to rest and recover so that 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 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.”

Major water main break on the lakefront. Photo source: Taupō District Council.

Rameka says the board will be asking the appropriate questions in due course to the relevant authorities to understand why the event occurred, the response to it, and how it could 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 board urges the community to respect the rāhui and to not gather any food, including trout, kōura or 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.