02 Apr 2024

A Champion for the community’s future

Upgrades to the infrastructure on Champion Street are 90 percent complete, which means we’re that much closer to reopening Champion Street and having better water infrastructure to support eastern Porirua residents and their local taiao

“Other than enabling more houses in eastern Porirua, the work we’re doing is Whakamana o taiao, (enhancing the wellbeing of the environment)” says Mel McIver (Marutuahu me Ngā Puhi).

“So we’re actually looking after our natural environment here. We’re pulling a wastewater pipe away from our awa, from our stream here, and we’re putting it effectively under the road.”

Mel is a Titahi Bay local whose mokopuna live in eastern Porirua and will benefit from the upgrades. She’s also Mana Tangata Manager at Te Aranga Alliance, the group building all civil infrastructure in the area on behalf of Te Rā Nui – Eastern Porirua Development.

“Part of this work is about ensuring that we can have more houses, and to have more houses we need more infrastructure,” says Mel.

“The current infrastructure is really old – it needs to be replaced anyway, so now’s a good time to actually, quite literally put a bigger pipe in so we can fit more people in and care for our environment.”

As part of Te Rā Nui, Te Aranga is installing more than three kilometres of new wastewater pipes through Bothamley Park and Champion Street. That’s enough to run the length of about 25 rugby fields. Champion Street alone will contain about 600 metres of those pipes!

“The old wastewater system is actually leaking raw sewage from our houses into our waterways and into our harbour, and obviously that’s not good for anything that lives in the harbour or for us who live around it,” says Mel.

“So part of the purpose of this is to actually protect that waterway. And while we’re also putting this sewer pipe in, we’re also replacing the water main.”

By the end of April, work is estimated to have reached a point where Champion Street can reopen to one lane.

“On behalf of the project we would like to thank the residents of eastern Porirua for their patience and understanding while we’ve carried out this important piece of work,” says Mel.

“Thank you very much.”

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